Should 'Mental health support' be included on league tables?

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Poll: Should 'Mental health support' be included on league tables?
Yes (354)
76.79%
No (107)
23.21%
BlinkyBill
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On TSR over the years, we've always seen loads of young people discussing their mental health, including how it impacts/is impacted by their educational journeys.

The pandemic has added a whole new layer of uncertainty. It a poll we ran recently which received over 5000 votes, we saw just how many different factor are impacting your mental health right now, including all that uncertainty around education and future prospects. This was especially true for Year 13 voters.

Recently there's been a petition started to have 'Mental health support' included on university league tables.

What do you think?

Would you find it helpful to be able to measure mental health support at universities when making your decision?

Are there other things that should be included on league tables to better support students in making these important decisions?
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Sav055
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I think that it should be included on league tables, especially in the times we're living in. For people who have to move away, the support they might need to do so should be included when they look at universities. After all, if your performance is impacted by a lack of support for your mental health needs, it doesn't matter if you're going to the best school in the country. That's my opinion on it anyway.
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sumayaaa
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yeah why not. It’s not like the University will be losing something if they put it up. Plus, they’re supposed to ensure that they take care of the wellbeing of their students so if their score looks poor and they look bad, that’s their own and they should work on it more (e.g. put in place more counselors , support etc)
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mnot
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I tend to think of mental health as something the NHS/your GP should have resources for, mental health support from universities/student unions is an extra bonus.

League tables are already using fairly arbitrary methodologies, I cant imagine how you could accurately measure and index such a variable fairly from university to university, and id think it would also be covered by the NSS , as these provisions would impact students views of the university services as a whole.

Then again I already dislike the national league tables and the methodologies so what is 1 more data input that will increase ranking volatility.
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ROTL94
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I don't think it should, no, because it's such a subjective opnion. The university's mental healt support team could be doing a good job but a few people could think they're absolutely terrible because they had to wait a long time to see somebody because their waiting list is a mile long or they weren't indulged in the way they wanted to be.
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Joleee
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it sounds like a good idea in theory, but how would this be measured i wonder; would it be through student satisfaction survey? cuz afaik unis generally offer the same services (couple of counselling sessions for low level mh problems and advice on finding help outside of uni). can't really grade then on how well a well-being department is if they all offer the same standard things.

the other thing i wonder about is whose standard of good mh support are we going by? i'd say students probably have a higher expectation of what schools can honestly provide, especially if they have moderate to severe mh issues. schools meanwhile just don't have the resources to offer the help students really want/need when they have serious or long-term issues, so their standards will be much lower i presume; and if the NSS knows this the survey will ask very basic questions like, 'did you get to speak to a counsellor?', 'did they offer guidance on where to go for help?'. a school that has checked all the right boxes then in terms of basic help could very well score high in that category and imho would be quite misleading to someone with moderate to severe mh issues reading the league table who really does need help. just a thought
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by ROTL94)
I don't think it should, no, because it's such a subjective opnion. The university's mental healt support team could be doing a good job but a few people could think they're absolutely terrible because they had to wait a long time to see somebody because their waiting list is a mile long or they weren't indulged in the way they wanted to be.
I mean, if there’s a mile-long waiting list then the university’s mental health support team is not doing a good job, or at best, they’re underfunded. And I think the funds universities put towards supporting their students’ mental health is an excellent metric for judging the quality of the university. I want to go to a university that genuinely cares about me, and who wouldn’t!
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by ROTL94)
I don't think it should, no, because it's such a subjective opnion. The university's mental healt support team could be doing a good job but a few people could think they're absolutely terrible because they had to wait a long time to see somebody because their waiting list is a mile long or they weren't indulged in the way they wanted to be.
(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
I mean, if there’s a mile-long waiting list then the university’s mental health support team is not doing a good job, or at best, they’re underfunded. And I think the funds universities put towards supporting their students’ mental health is an excellent metric for judging the quality of the university. I want to go to a university that genuinely cares about me, and who wouldn’t!
I guess to be fair the total amount of money allotted to mental health isn’t necessarily a good metric - I didn’t mean it exactly like that - different universities are larger or smaller and hence should spend more. Maybe you could look at, e.g., mental health expenditure per student capita?
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laurawatt
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It would be so subjective (more than student satisfaction anyway) and would completely depend on the individual and their circumstances so I don’t think it should be included
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mnot
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
I guess to be fair the total amount of money allotted to mental health isn’t necessarily a good metric - I didn’t mean it exactly like that - different universities are larger or smaller and hence should spend more. Maybe you could look at, e.g., mental health expenditure per student capita?
That would just lead to some universities finding ways to claim what their already doing is mental health support and then other unis would put cash in but actually quality would be disregarded. Some universities already play games trying to move up the rankings and others dont at all.

All this would lead to is another reason (of many) to ignore these tables.
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glassalice
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Why just focus on the mental health support available at uni? People with physical health conditions or learning difficulties/ neurodevelopmental disorders also often need reasonable adjustments/ extra support put in place as well.

My concern would be that money and time which would have previously been spent supporting pupils with a whole range of disabilities could be redirected to support pupils with mental health concerns for the sake of league tables.

(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
I guess to be fair the total amount of money allotted to mental health isn’t necessarily a good metric - I didn’t mean it exactly like that - different universities are larger or smaller and hence should spend more. Maybe you could look at, e.g., mental health expenditure per student capita?
Does money = benefit derived from mental health support? I don't think so.
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yeetouttawindow
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I think Unis should provide a base support e.g. resources or contacts to other places for help, but they're a academic institution not a social care service. Students are fully grown adults and should be responsible for their own mental health, if they they're not fit enough mentally of physically they should leave or not go entirely.
Last edited by yeetouttawindow; 1 month ago
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w10aneilson
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Like many of the comments here, I firmly believe that mental health support and measuring it are super subjective, so making a big deal out of a score on a table isn't necessarily representative of the uni's actual support available.
The league tables as a whole are pretty difficult to ascertain and definitely shouldn't be used as a sole form for university decisions; the best way is to interact with the uni and visit it.
Having said that, you could argue that if mental health is put on the tables, universities might spend more to support it and raise their standards as a whole.
It is important to acknowledge the importance of mental well-being to students, but arguably no more so than physical well-being and various forms of health.
Yeah, I'm not really sure, but personally, I think no, it shouldn't be included on league tables, however, I don't particularly use them when looking for unis.
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PQ
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https://cesafety.co.uk/solving-stude...han-any-other/ :flute:

Push uni guide used to survey universities on the number/FTE of qualified counselling staff available and pro rata that by students
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barnet1471
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I am not sure how it could be measured. Having lots of people trained in counselling sounds good, but if they are all with a particular specialism it may be not much value for particular mental health issues. If they were all women or all men, or all from a particular background or ethnicity, for example.
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jemima0103
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Not on the official league tables but I would be interested in seeing some sort of survey carried out across all universities about wellbeing and the quality of mental health services. It would be very subjective though
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LS1998
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A category which highlights university deaths would be useful, in relation to mental health.
Some universities would be unlikely to submit that data though.

A list of mental health services each university offers would also be beneficial. I know I would have appreciated that as a safety net for my mental well-being before applying to university.
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CosmicApathy1
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Should it? Yes. Will it? Lol no why would it ever be implemented.
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Napp
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Whilst its nice to have a good mental health support network i dont see the utility in having a table for it. Aside from it being beside the point of a university (you go there to learn, not to be councelled) it is relatively subjective and (i cant believe im sayin this) elitist.. it costs money to hire a fully staffed and well qualified team of professionals for that so it would immediately damn certain unis who simply dont have the loose change to throw at this sort of thing.. Whilst UCL or Oxford might have a few million a year to dedicate to a payroll of councellors and shrinks many unis dont.

But as i said, the main point of a uni is to go and learn your subject and get your qualification, this just seems too far removed and nebulous to be of much use for someone when deciding on their uni.
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PQ
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(Original post by LS1998)
A category which highlights university deaths would be useful, in relation to mental health.
That data used to be collected https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c14042/a/instfat (ONS monitor it a different way now)

I doubt any university would improve their efforts to prevent student deaths because of a ranking. Universities are already motivated to prevent students deaths already because of the fact that student deaths are deeply upsetting for staff and students alike.
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