Strathclyde establishes early intervention response

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.

The University of Strathclyde has established an Early Intervention Counselling Team to offer same-day triage appointments to all students seeking mental health and wellbeing support. This ensures that any student in crisis and requiring immediate mental health support will have access to appropriate professional help.

The same-day triage scheme has been in operation since the start of the 2020/21 academic year and has proven effective at rapidly responding to crisis with more than 96% of students contacted within the 24 hour time period. This process has enabled the team to identify students most at risk and introduce an ongoing risk monitoring process. The programme is still in the early stages of development but feedback so far indicates that students are highly satisfied with the quick response times and initial advice and support.

Students contacting the Early Intervention Counselling Team are given potential onward referrals for support, such as counselling or mentoring. They are also referred onto readily available psychoeducational programmes, group therapies and online support programs such as SilverCloud. The University of Strathclyde has also made Spectrum Life available to all students, providing 24/7 mental health telephone and digital live chat support. This is enhancing the university’s capacity to respond to and support students out of hours and is providing appropriate mental health and wellbeing support for students studying overseas in different time zones.