On University Mental Health Day (7 March), The Open University has announced that it has the highest number of students declaring a mental health condition across the UK (6,025), and that proportion has increased year-on-year over the past 10 years.
As a proud supporter of University Mental Health Day, it’s essential that as the debate about mental health and education grows across the UK, the needs of part-time distance learning and mature students are considered.
The flexibility offered by part-time distance learning is particularly important to students with a mental health condition. For many it is the only way that they can study for a degree and realise their educational ambitions.
Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor at The Open University said:
‘Mental health does not discriminate in terms of age. We are proud of the fact that many of those affected are increasingly choosing The Open University as the university that can support them to start or to continue their learning journey. The OU is dedicated to improving our support and creating a positive environment for those students who declare a mental health condition, with initiatives such as one-to-one mentoring or arranging for exams to be carried out at home. The number of such students coming to us underlines the importance of flexible learning in the post-18 sector, so that mental health does not inhibit someone’s ambition and passion for learning.’
The theme of this year’s University Mental Health Day is ‘using your voice’ as students and members of universities across the UK are encouraged to share their stories to help shape the future of student mental health.
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Discover OU student, Liz’s story, as she talks about how studying has helped her better understand her mind