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The Sabbatical Officers met with the Provost last Monday, where the long-awaited additional funding was confirmed.  This was later confirmed in writing by Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice Provost (Education & Student Affairs).  This additional funding would ensure students get quicker access to psychological and counselling support when they need it, reducing waiting times. 

I am really pleased that UCL management has finally confirmed that £140,000 has been secured to provide additional mental health support through UCL Student Psychological and Counselling Services. 

This is a monumental win for students

This is a result of the efforts of student officers before me and the grassroots-led UCL: Fund Our Mental Health Services campaign, which is democratically run by students and activists united in the fight to reduce waiting lists and to expand the support available.  This vibrant student campaign carried out direct action, from banner drops and rallies to stunts at the UCL Open Day and protests around campus.  The commitment and determination of these students have contributed significantly towards this win for students. 

The Union had conducted a study into the experiences of UCL students and their mental wellbeing in 2016 which called for an increase in funding for Student Psychological Services by £340,000.  This would translate to 6.5 new staff members, which was necessary to cover the number of students accessing the service.  This would shorten the waiting list, facilitate follow-up with students and allow for additional support where needed.  

Having spent several months to confirm this additional funding, we welcome UCL management’s agreement that this additional support is much needed.  We would keep up the pressure to ensure that UCL moves ahead and recruit the additional staffing to ensure that students wait no more to support their mental wellbeing. 

Together, we can make things better.  We will continue to review the support provided by UCL to make sure that this is meeting the needs of our 43,000 strong student body.