SRUC embeds mental health into its curriculum

Universities UK’s Stepchange Framework looks at student mental health and wellbeing through four ‘domains’ of Learn, Support, Work and Live. The way in which learning is designed, structured and provided can be supportive of positive mental wellbeing, as the following example shows.

Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) has developed a new Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy that focuses on an inclusive approach to the curriculum. The strategy comprises ten principles that will underpin learning and teaching at SRUC over the next decade.

The University is drawing upon Houghton and Anderson’s (2017) five ‘ways to wellbeing’ as a framework for considering curriculum content and the teaching and learning process. The five ways include ‘keep learning, connect, be active, take notice and give’. This reinforces the idea that learning best supports wellbeing when it is embedded and students are engaged.

The Strategy is supportive of mental wellbeing as it integrates and embeds discipline-relevant mental health and wellbeing resources into the curriculum. This curriculum-infusion approach aims to use the discipline to develop students’ understanding of mental wellbeing and related issues.

SRUC is working to normalise the five ways by making them a core part of their wider pedagogy. The University is about to embark on a three-year curriculum review which will focus on aligning programmes to the Strategy.