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London Higher Wellbeing, Health and Safety Task Group launched at the University of Westminster

18 October 2018

The Task Group, launched on Mental Health Awareness Day on 10 October, was founded and will be chaired by Dr Peter Bonfield, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Westminster, as part of London universities’ trade body, London Higher.

The London Higher mental health and wellbeing event for London Higher Education Institutions at the University’s Regent Street campus, where the Task Group was launched, enabled an open conversation around what is fast becoming a key strategic priority for both students and staff in universities and higher education colleges in the UK.

Attendees were given an opportunity to find out how different organisations aim to build a supportive culture and environment around wellbeing and mental health, and why it is so important to do so.

A panel discussion, which included senior representatives from Advance HE and Barclays, offered contributions from inside and outside of the Higher Education Sector. Guests also heard how sharing of personal experiences can help break down barriers around mental health issues for the benefit of individuals, communities and the workplace.

Speaking about the event and the Task Group, Dr Bonfield said: “We had a positive first meeting and the delegates are strongly committed to this cause. We will focus on practical action, open shared learning, and complete collaboration to make things better, building a positive and active movement to do so.”

The Task Group brings together London universities to work on the mental health crisis facing Higher Education, engaging with both students and colleagues. Learning and wellbeing are closely linked, with 92 per cent of students in counselling identifying themselves as having problems with their academic work. There has also been a 500 per cent increase in the proportion of students who disclose a mental health condition to their university in the last ten years. 

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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