We were brought in by the University of Wolverhampton to remodel all aspects of the service provided to students by the University's Mental Health and Wellbeing Team, as well as addressing some issues about the way in which this team interacts with other parts of the University.
This project involved transforming the way in which students accessed the service, shifting the team's focus away from 'drop-in' activity towards a more triaged and managed approach. A full set of new operational procedures were drawn up and agreed with the team, and new working practices introduced to ensure the team worked effectively as a multi-disciplinary team.
We developed new clear guidance for staff on how to signpost and support distressed students, launching this by holding briefing events for 250 staff members on all three of the University's campuses, and by recording a podcast for staff to listen to, summarising the changes.
In addition, we:
overhauled and streamlined all of the Mental Health & Wellbeing Team's website content
brought the team together in a shared workspace for the first time
shaped and helped recruiting to two new full time roles, including a new team manager for the Mental Health & Wellbeing Team
launched a new online self-help resource, called Big White Wall
agreed new working protocols with Accommodation, Security and the Students' Union, to be clear on where responsibilities lie for different aspects of wellbeing and mental health support sit within the University
facilitated peer support sessions for staff who were most frequently managing cases involving distressed students, to help them reflect on different ways to manage difficult situations
proposed detailed new University-wide protocols for convening case conferences to manage complex cases
Of the 250 staff members who attended our face-to-face briefings about the new support model, 96% said that the new model represents a significant positive enhancement for students. 99% also said that the changes will also make a positive difference for staff across the University, given that it makes it much easier for staff to signpost students into specialist support and seek advice on individual cases when required.
A detailed handover pack, containing all of the new operational, policy and marketing documents, was handed over to the newly appointed managers of the team in January 2020.