£1m Fund to Target Mental Health Support for Students

The Office for Students (OfS) is inviting higher education providers in England to develop and implement projects which provide innovative approaches to improving mental health outcomes for students. OfS are administering this competition on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, which has provided £1 million for this scheme.

OfS are seeking collaborative proposals with a particular focus on intersectional approaches to:

Preventative strategies for those students who might be considered particularly at risk of developing mental ill health

Driving improvement in access to support for those who might be likely to experience additional barriers (for example, because of the nature of their course, mode of study, or other factors such as structural, personal or cultural differences or inequalities).

In meeting these priorities, OfS are also particularly interested in projects that explore innovation and the use of technological approaches in line with the new NHS drive for digital transformation and improvement in mental health support.

Proposals must be collaborative and underpinned by a strategic approach and firm evidence base, with the aim to develop more effective practice and accelerate the pace of change in supporting the mental health, and preventing mental ill health, of students in higher education.

This funding opportunity is open to higher education providers who are in the ‘Approved (fee cap)’ category of the OfS Register as at 5 March 2020.

OfS expect all projects to have at least one partner, but this does not have to be another higher education provider. For example, partners could include health agencies and third sector organisations.

A total of £1 million is available for this fund.

Individual awards will be made at a minimum of £70,000 and up to a maximum of £200,000.

All interested eligible higher education providers and their partners are invited to attend a webinar on 2 April 2020 to hear more about the competition and ask questions. Register for the webinar via the OfS website.

The deadline for funding applications is 4 May 2020 (5pm).

More information about this funding opportunity and the application process is available on the GRANTfinder funding information platform. GRANTfinder provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on funding news and policy. To find out more about how GRANTfinder can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.