City College signs national mental health charter

Published: 7th October 2021

Published by City College Southampton

We are proud to affirm our commitment to staff and students by signing up to a new national mental health and wellbeing charter.

This charter, created by the Association of Colleges (AoC) in collaboration with mental health experts, is an 11-point pledge that includes commitments to: promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma, providing appropriate mental health training for staff and providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate.

Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people are experiencing a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24, this means City College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of many students and staff across the city.

Sarah Stannard, Principal and CEO of City College, signed the charter during a regular student support drop-in session which provided numerous students and staff with helpful information and advice, whilst raising awareness of the forthcoming World Mental Health Day (10 October).  She said: “The pandemic has created significant challenges for many people so, now more than ever, looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our staff and students is so important. We are proud of the excellent work we already do and by signing this charter, we are further demonstrating our full commitment to supporting our students and staff.”

Lorraine Wheeler, Head of Student Support and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), added: “Schools and colleges play a vital role in promoting positive mental health, identifying need and providing early intervention in cases of mental ill health.  At City College we offer all of our students a wide range of services to support their mental health needs, and work closely with a number of support agencies including Solent Mental Health Schools Team (MHST), No Limits, Counselling and Steps to Wellbeing.  Without doubt this fantastic support enables our students to remain in education, achieve and progress onto positive destinations.”

Richard Caulfield, Mental Health Lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like City College Southampton provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”

Signing the charter

Mental Health Charter signed