QMU tackles gender based violence across Edinburgh

Universities UK’s Stepchange Framework looks at student mental health and wellbeing through four ‘domains’ of Learn, Support, Work and Live. Universities currently resource a wide range of services to support those experiencing mental illness, as the following example shows.

Queen Margret University is working in collaboration with the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) and the other Edinburgh universities to fund a full-time ERCC counselling support worker post for two years.

The project was developed through the Fearless Edinburgh initiative, which through collaboration between the Edinburgh higher education institutions, ERCC and Police Scotland, aims to create a safe environment for students free from gender based violence. The project started taking referrals in January 2021.

The project is still under evaluation but the work to date showcases universities’ commitment to supporting students who have experienced sexual violence. It also highlights the strength of collaboration when dealing with complex and challenging issues by ensuring learning from experts in the field, based on a culture of transparency and co-operation. The hope is that the project will be able to continue after the two years of funding, ensuring students retain access to essential specialist support.