University Centre Leeds

University Centre Leeds (UCLeeds), part of Luminate Education Group, is proud to be the highest rated University in Leeds for overall student satisfaction. At UCLeeds we are proud of our supportive environment, ensuring students receive personalised support and providing all students with the opportunity to reach their full potential. As part of our commitment, widening participation is core to our mission to ensure we use our extensive experiences, success, knowledge and resources to make a positive difference to individuals and communities. We work hard to have a positive impact on social mobility through our ability to recognise, inspire, and enrich those from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups, and by removing barriers to access and participation in higher education.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Ongoing tutorials throughout the programme include wellbeing topics that can impact mental health such as mindfulness, healthy eating, drugs and alcohol etc. Ongoing support and social connectedness is further developed within the curriculum, including 1-to-1 pastoral tutorials, as well as through the UC Hub (online VLE), Student Engagement opportunities and activities.

Staff have access to Suicide Awareness Training and Suicide Prevention for University Students. Students accessing mental health support receive information and signposting for additional and out of hours services to ensure their support needs are met and as part of the suicide prevention plan. This information is openly available on the UC Hub for all students to access at any time or day.

We appreciate and recognise everyone’s unique differences and are committed to enhancing knowledge and strive to enable all individuals to achieve and/or raise their aspirations, develop their abilities, and achieve their goals.

What are your current priorities?

Mental health training is not currently mandatory for all staff, but plans are in place for the training to become mandatory. We aim to put in place a strategy and staff development plan that ensures better ongoing sharing of practice across the whole institution and not just the HE Student Support Team and those actively engaging in mental health and wellbeing activities.

What challenges are you currently facing?

We have also identified challenges among some students accessing support due to, for example, cultural barriers and have been developing new interventions to encourage those not engaging in mental health to access mental health information and support in an anonymous, inclusive, safe and supported way. However, engaging students who would most benefit from these interventions, who do not access support, has made it difficult to ensure diversity and inclusivity in the co-create of such. We are now exploring a wider range of inclusive mechanisms to improve engagement from those not accessing support to help co-create resources and interventions that would increase access and break down any barriers.