All of Us

Raising Mental Health Awareness in Higher Education Latest News & Events



As part of Universities UK wider programme of work to improve the mental health of students and staff in higher education, the Stepchange Framework was introduced in September 2017. The Stepchange in mental health in higher education includes a vision that:

This year,  in support of the Stepchange Framework, we launch our ‘All of Us’ initiative – a programme for providing mental health training for all our staff and Learning Support Consultants.

We aim to:

  • Play our part in supporting University UK’s Stepchange Framework by adopting mental health as an organisational priority.
  • Increase the awareness that it is the responsibility of all of us to be mental health aware, so that we are better able to support those around us experiencing mental health problems.
  • Provide Mental Health First Aid training for all of us, helping not only our consultants to better support students, but also enabling us to support colleagues, friends and family.

Student Mental Health

Higher education settings are often the first and only time in young adults’ lives in which work, leisure, healthcare and social support are provided in the same place.

This provides the perfect setting for universities and health services to embed positive mental health, strengthen protective factors, work to reduce risk factors, and take opportunities to intervene early in mental illness or distress.

(Minding Our Future, UUK)

Student Suicide

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of student suicides with several universities in the UK  experiencing a number of student suicides within a short period of time.

The ability to identify students who are at risk of suicide or self-harm or display suicidal behaviours is both important and challenging.

Of those who take their own life in the UK, only 28% have been in contact with mental health services during the year before their death.

Among students, only 12% who died by suicide were reported to be seeing student counselling services and many students who need help do not necessarily seek it themselves. (UUK)

Early intervention is a necessary step to improve national mental health: students with severe mental health difficulties are at ‘considerable risk’ of academic failure and dropping out [RCPsych, 2011].


Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) for Students with Mental Health Conditions

Disabled Student’s Allowance funds support for students with mental health conditions and makes a significant and positive difference to many student’s experience of higher education.

Through a provider such as Amano, Specialist 1:1 Mental Health Mentors funded by DSA provide the student with someone they can meet with on a regular basis to address issues around their particular mental health condition and ways to overcome its effect on their ability to meet the challenges of studying and university life.

But….only 2 in 5 disabled students have heard about DSA before starting their course. (DfE 2019)

<< This year we produced a pocket guide to raise awareness of the types of DSA funded support available. If you would like a copy of this guide please contact us:

Mental Health First Aid Training for ‘All of Us’

This year we aim to train all our Learning Support Consultants in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

We will deliver MHFA in Higher Education Training for all our consultants across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

MHFA’s Higher Education mental health awareness and skills course was created in consultation with leading student mental health charity Student Minds.


This one day course will qualify you as a Higher Education MHFA Champion. It is designed to give you:

  • A deeper understanding of the issues that relate to student and staff mental health.
  • Skills to spot early signs of mental ill health.
  • Confidence to signpost someone to support – whether that’s through self-help resources, university counselling services, the NHS, or a mix.
  • Knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness

Click here for full details about what you will learn on the course.

We will be offering this training to Amano consultants as well as reserving several spaces for staff at universities and colleges we work closely with.

Look out for your email invitation!


This one day course will qualify you as a Higher Education MHFA Champion. It is designed to give you:

  • A deeper understanding of the issues that relate to student and staff mental health
  • Skills to spot early signs of mental ill health
  • Confidence to signpost someone to support – whether that’s through self-help resources, university counselling services, the NHS, or a mix
  • Knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness

Click here for full details about what you will learn on the course.

We will be offering this training to Amano staff  and also reserving several spaces for staff at universities and colleges we work closely with. Look out for you email invitation!

Support Student Minds as our Charity of the Year

We have chosen to support Student Minds as our charity of the year in 2019 and will be supporting University Mental Health Day on 7 March 2019.

The theme of UMHD19 is ‘Use Your Voice’:

“We all have mental health, we all have a voice, we all have stories to share. You best understand what it is like to live, work and study at university. This University Mental Health Day we want to celebrate the power of your voice in creating long-lasting change.

Your voice can shape the future of student mental health. Join us as we inspire conversations, take action and create change!”

Amano Student Stories

We would like to create a series of short videos featuring our students and consultants about their experiences of mental health support. If you would be interested in contributing to this piece of work, please contact us for further details.

Past, Present and Future Events

Throughout the year we will be fundraising,
offering relevant training/ CPD and taking part in
various other mental health awareness activities.

World Suicide Prevention Day, 10th September 2019

A note from Chukumeka Maxwell of Orchid Community & Associates:

September, as the start of a new academic year can feel like a time of new beginnings.  It is also the month of  World Suicide Prevention Day.  Suicide is a global issue that on average takes a person’s life every 40 seconds. Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected amounting to 108 million per year (IASP, 2018). Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages(WSPD2019). This year the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is ‘Working Together‘. It has been retained for this year and 2020. There  has been a flurry of activity since last year’s World Suicide Prevent Day 2018 in the UK and internationally . 

On the 10th of October last year 2018 World Mental Health Day, the UK became the first country to have a Suicide Prevention Minister. Mrs Doyle-Price, became the minister for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention.  

Official data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 2017 suicide registrations showed that the suicide rate in England has reduced for the third consecutive year and is at its lowest for seven years (1). However  anecdotally for this year 2018 the figures may rise and at the time of writing this the 2018 figures have been released showing a 11.2% rise in total . This means our call to action is even more important.

Compared with the previous year, males aged 20 to 24 years saw a significant increase of 31% from 12.9 deaths per 100,000 males in 2017 (279 deaths) to 16.9 in 2018 (363 deaths). Following a significant reduction in their suicide rate between 2016 and 2017, there was also a significant increase for males aged 80 to 84 years from 9.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2017 (65 deaths) to 17.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2018 (126 deaths), with the latest suicide rate returning to previously observed levels (ONS 2018).

In June 2019, the The “ASK” Workshop was brought to the UK, delivered by Lifeline Workshops Inc. This comes at the same time as the government announces more to be done to tackle mental health and suicide, including training for teachers, university staff and NHS staff.   

This September in the two weeks after WSPD2019  there will be two big events. Firstly the 30th World Congress Suicide Prevention Congress  in Londonderry ,with delegates from all around the world and hosted  by the International Association for Suicide Prevention. The theme is “Breaking Down Walls & Building Bridges” . Secondly, the  the 8th International Suicide bereavement Conference themed ‘Suicide Bereavement: What About Us?’

Further developments are also planned  in collaboration with others . We are looking to share a Map of Hope  which highlights the people trained in two of the suicide prevention courses by Licensed Livingworks Trainers . This is to engender conversations around suicide and a pictorial representation of people trained in a given area.

We are also looking at developing Suicide Safer Towns ,Cities,Schools ,Workplaces and Communities. Suicide Prevention is definitely ‘everybody’s business’,  whatever our professional line of work or in our private life We can all do something to help  to reduce the amount of suicides by “working together” for the benefit of all So let’s keep that 2020 vision going in the coming year. If you want to help find out what you can do ,search for Suicide Prevention resources in your local area.  Look at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance Website    Loook out for national anf local charities especially for young people  Think and Act  globally ,  digitally and  locally wherever you find yourselves. Working together can and will solve Death By Suicide.  

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19th May!  

During this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Heads Together, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have launched ‘Shout’.

Shout is a free, 24/7 text messaging service, connecting people experiencing mental health crisis to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed.


Shout is available to anyone in a crisis – anytime and anywhere. It’s a place to go if you are struggling to cope and you need immediate help. It has been piloted in the UK for the past year, and Shout’s body of 1,000 volunteers have already responded to 60,000 conversations.

“As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help. I am incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day.” – The Duke of Cambridge

Click here or more info on how to use Shout

March 7th is University Mental Health Day! 

University Mental Health Day is the biggest day of the year for student mental health, bringing together the university community to make mental health a university-wide priority, to create ongoing change to the future of student mental health. This year is all about the power of using your voice.

Run by Student Minds and UMHAN, Uni Mental Health Day encourages students and staff across the UK to run events and campaign to promote awareness and support for students at universities to manage their wellbeing.

Get involved or show your support!

This year we have chosen to support leading UK student mental health charity, Student Minds. On UMHD Plymouth University Student Minds volunteers will be in the main foyer of the Student’s Union from 10am-4pm offering direction to support services and opening discourse with students about mental health.  The group will also be holding several events:

  • Managing Anxiety Workshop, 12:00 – 13:100, Rolle Building, ticketed event, see Facebook for details.
  • Use Your Voice, 15:00 – 16:00, UPSU. A listening session where the group are inviting people to come and share their experiences of mental health at university, to help shape improvements across campus.

Time to Talk Day 7 Feb

This year’s Time to Talk Day is all about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health.

Whether that’s tea, biscuits and close friends or a room full of people challenging mental health stigma, we want you to get talking.

This Time to Talk day we began putting together our Action Plan for the Time to Change Employer Pledge >>>

Signing the Employer Pledge from Time to Change

Our focus on mental health also extends to our own workplace and learning support colleagues.

We have always been proud of our inclusive and supportive workplace culture and by signing the pledge we will demonstrate ‘a commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and make sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported.’

Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May 2019

This year’s mental health awareness week hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019.

The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we see ourselves and how that makes us feel.

Ahead of the week in May, take a look at this blog article from Cardiff University about 4 of the best positive body image apps. 



World Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September 2019

This years World Suicide Prevention Day – is on 10th September.
It is an opportunity for all sectors of the community including those bereaved by suicide,  to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to focus public attention on the needs of people at risk of suicide, suicide attempt survivors and people bereaved by suicide.

World Mental Health Day - 10 October

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Heatlh Day on 10th October every year. 

The day provides an opportunity “for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide”. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world.

National Stress Awareness Day - 6 November

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

National Stress Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress.