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Welfare & International Officer
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What you need to know

  • Our “Heads Up” campaign this year, which was substantially aimed around awareness and destigmatisation, but also included a petition drive to secure more funding for our desperately under-resourced Student Psychological Service.
  • That petition said, rightly: “We estimate that an additional 6.5 counselors would be needed so that all students who register with our mental health service can be seen, or about £340,000 annually. With the university headed for a financial surplus in the tens of millions of pounds, UCL could absolutely make this relatively small investment in its students’ welfare.”
  • The petition has so far collected nearly 2000 signatures.
  • UCL is currently consulting on the service. We have explained the severe need for more resources, but at present it is not clear funding will be increased sufficiently if at all.

What Union Council thinks about this

  • One of the major reasons to raise awareness and combat stigma is to make it more likely that people facing mental health problems seek and obtain treatment. But this doesn’t work if, when they do seek treatment, it’s not available and accessible. At the end of the day, there is absolutely no substitute for properly-resourced, professional treatment.
  • With the NHS and public mental health care provision in crisis, now more than ever we need UCL to meet its fundamental obligation as a public university to support its students’ mental health throughout their studies.

What the Union should do about this

  • Unless and until UCL agrees to increase funding to meet the needs we have set out, we must make the push for UCL to properly resource Student Psychological Services the number one priority of UCLU’s mental health campaigning over the next year.
  • To support building the petition and lobbying UCL to this end, as well as protest and direct action as appropriate.
  • To also link up with wider campaigns beyond UCL to defend and increase resources for public mental health care provision in the NHS and local government, from which students will benefit along with everyone else.