Higher education: student and staff wellbeing and mental health

About Higher education: student and staff wellbeing and mental health

There is a lot of interest in what can be done to improve student mental health and wellbeing in higher and further education. We have been working with Universities UK, Student Minds, Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) Office for Students and Universities of East Anglia and Liverpool and Brunel University London to support learning from what’s being done so well-intentioned action doesn’t do harm and we build on what’s already know.  From our work on adult learning with University of East Anglia we identified an evidence gap on student mental health and wellbeing interventions.

We worked with University of Liverpool to do a Review of Reviews on Student Mental Health and Wellbeing interventions. 

Here is an overview of other evidence relevant for Higher and Further Education in partnership with Universities UK.

Mental health matters to overall wellbeing at all stages of life and its impact is relatively big. There is growing interest in taking action to improve mental health, and promote wellbeing, in a wide range of organisations including in Higher and Further Education.

Through research and clinical education universities and colleges play an important role in improving mental health and wellbeing in the UK. How universities and colleges create the conditions for those studying and working there, like in schools, workplaces and communities, is now getting greater
attention and funding.

Making sure that what is done is effective, cost-effective and, even if well-intentioned, doesn’t cause harm, is now a priority. This research aims to establish the global evidence base for all sectors to build on.

Across our lives

The biggest drivers of adult wellbeing (16 years and up) are:

  1. Emotional and physical health
  2. Partner relationship
  3. Employment

Find out more about the Centre’s work on lifelong wellbeing

Culture and sport

Employment transitions

Mental health treatment, early intervention


Evidence from the Centre:

Evidence from other sources:


Sep 29, 2022 | By Joanne Smithson,Robyn Bignall-Donnelly
Local area action plans: learning from wellbeing research and practice
Centre Blog
Sep 22, 2022 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Children’s wellbeing in the UK 2022
Guest Blog
Sep 8, 2022 | By Marco Felici and Matthew Agarwala
Beyond the averages: the relationship between higher education and wellbeing
Guest Blog
Aug 13, 2022 | By Nerissa Caesar
Wellbeing policy making with Westminster City Council
Guest Blog

External resource

  • JUMP projects Happy Days volunteer report
  • Co-op Community Wellbeing Index
  • Thriving Places Index
In partnership with
  • Universities UK