Greater Manchester universities mental health service

The Greater Manchester university student mental health service is in the second year of a 2-year pilot and is delivered by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Since September 2019 this service has supported over 370 students, many of whom presented as very complex and who may not have previously accessed mental health services. The service continued to offer telephone, digital and face to face support throughout the summer period and will continue to do so during the winter period.

The Greater Manchester university student mental health service provides expert support for students who have complex health needs – giving them timely access to professional help for conditions including psychosis, depression, personality disorders and eating disorders.

The sector leading Greater Manchester universities student mental health service provides expert support for students who have complex health needs. It gives them timely access to professional help for conditions including psychosis, depression, personality disorders and eating disorders. It aims to:

  • Meet the increasing mental health needs of university students
  • Prevent them “falling between the cracks” of university and NHS services at a time when they are often away from the support they may get at home.

Mental health doesn’t discriminate so neither should our mental health services. We need to make sure every single student has access to the appropriate help and support, as and when they need it. Professor Sandeep Ranote, Mental Health Lead, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

The Greater Manchester university student mental health service pilot is a partnership between:

  • Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • The University of Manchester
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Salford

Why this matters

Greater Manchester is home to around 100,000 university students – the largest number of any city region in England. Students say that it can be difficult to access NHS mental health services when they’re away from home. This can be due a variety of reasons including:

  • not being registered with a GP practice
  • not knowing where to ask for help.
  • they’ve waited for an appointment which now falls during a holiday period
  • they’ve moved address during or before treatment.

Leaving home to go to University is a hugely exciting time for young people. Most make the transition without needing mental health support but some students need help with the stresses and strains of academic life. The Greater Manchester Universities Mental Health Service plays a vitally important role in supporting young people who may be struggling and helping them to reach their ambitions. Tim McDougal, Deputy Director of Nursing and Governance at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

How the service works

The service is provided by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust from a main clinic in the heart of the Oxford Road campus and satellite locations in Salford and Bolton.

The staffing team includes a consultant psychiatrist, a consultant psychologist, psychological therapists and mental health nurses. Additional group therapy is provided by mental health charity 42nd Street

Students receive a standard assessment from their university’s welfare service and, if appropriate, they are referred on for more specialist intervention at the new centre.

As the mental health of a student improves an they have been discharged from NHS treatment they will be managed and supported by their university’s welfare service.