Proposals are being invited which address the mental health needs of third-level students who are at an increased risk of mental illness and may face barriers to accessing care.
The call follows the announcement that the Government is to provide a £1 million funding boost to create new projects to support groups of students that research suggests could be more at a risk of developing a mental health condition, such as black or ethnic minority students, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, LGBT+ students and those with a disability.
The money, provided by the Department for Health and Social Care, will go to the universities' regulator, the Office for Students, who is inviting bidders to submit proposals.
The projects will be judged on how they use innovative and technological approaches to address mental health issues, in line with the new NHS drive for improvement in digital support. Successful projects will also target groups of students who might face barriers in accessing support, like carers, part-time and international students and those on placements as part of their course.
In a 2019 survey, 17 per cent of students reported having a mental health condition, up from 12 per cent in 2016. One in four students say they often or always feel lonely, according to a report by the Higher Education Price Index.