As a School, we’re committed to making LSE a welcoming, inclusive and healthy place for all. Our vision is that together, we will shape our School so that everyone feels empowered to realise their potential, cope with challenges and contribute to our community.
The Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework (SMHWF) underlines our commitment to making the mental health and wellbeing of our community a strategic priority, and sets out how we’ll make this ambition a reality. The Framework was agreed by LSE’s Education Committee in February 2020.
Crafted with community input and expertise, in particular extensive student feedback gathered by LSE and LSE Students' Union, the Framework is built around three major themes in order to prioritise our approach and offer the maximum impact. These themes are:
A - Academic culture and practice in support of SMHW
B - Welcome and a sense of belonging in support of SMHW
C - Promotion, prevention and provision in directly supporting SHMW
Themes A and B acknowledge and address the fact that LSE’s educational, social and physical environment can have a significant influence on student mental health and wellbeing. Theme C concentrates on directly supporting students via prevention and promotion initiatives, as well as maximising our direct provision of support.
This framework will enable us to better coordinate current activity and initiatives and encourage new ones, and offers a more consistent way to communicate about this important subject.
An LSE education should be characterised as rigorous and challenging, but also as caring and supportive. We aim to achieve this by building an academic culture that prioritises self-care, accommodates and supports vulnerability, and where cooperation is the best strategy for success. As set out by the Higher Education Academy, areas of interest are:
- Unlocking the power of student learning communities to support student mental health and wellbeing
- Integrating inclusive learning approaches to meet the diverse needs of learners, and proactively encourage collaborative learning
- Making programme-level enhancements, including discipline-relevant mental health and wellbeing resources, a more representative approach to courses, and flexible and inclusive assessments
- Continuing to enhance our estate to create a sense of belonging amongst students, build calm spaces and combat feelings of isolation.
The Eden Centre is already leading work in this area, framed by our LSE 2030 goal to educate for impact, including the Inclusive Education Plan, peer study groups, and systems to enhance a sense of belonging beyond course and department. Other longer-term considerations include reviewing course choice, curriculum design and assessment load.
Driven by our 2030 goal of ‘fostering a strong sense of community and belonging’, we aim to put the human side of higher education first. It’s crucial that we support students to find friends, feel confident and feel part of our LSE community, because this is foundational for academic success. We look to:
- Create a more connected experience for students joining our School, from application and offer-holder phases through to Welcome and beyond
- Provide particular support for ‘transition’ moments in the student experience, including Welcome, assessment and return to study
- Give students greater clarity over approaches, expectations and outcomes for their time at LSE to better support the jump to higher education or postgraduate study.
The Welcome Steering Group, established in 2018, is bringing a coordinated approach to joining the LSE community and is working to enhance this activity in support of student mental health and wellbeing.
This theme considers how we can strengthen our existing offering of direct mental health and wellbeing provision, and how we can better communicate about the support available to increase awareness and normalise the topic of mental health in our community. We will be:
- Embedding wellbeing and mental health support into our culture with a School-wide campaign to promote self-care and challenge stigma
- Continuing our strategic partnership with MIND in delivering student workshops to raise awareness and build resilience
- Empowering LSE colleagues to support student mental health and wellbeing with new online training
- Enhancing our prevention culture and initiatives including mentoring and volunteering, risk management and safeguarding processes
- Strengthening existing provision, including accessible information, signposting and in-house specialised support from Student Services, promoting a holistic wellbeing service model
- Collaborating with external partners to meet mental health and wellbeing needs, and maximise the effectiveness of LSE resources.
The Head of Student Services is chairing a working group to steer all initiatives in theme C. This group will work closely with other theme leads to ensure a consistent approach to communication and promotion.
Devising metrics and collecting data
In order to understand the efficacy and impact of this activity, we plan to develop and implement consistent metrics to gauge LSE’s mental health and wellbeing. These must align to the measurements being developed to support LSE 2030, and work within the departmental annual monitoring cycle.
Going forward in partnership with our School community
Refining, coordinating and embedding the Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework is an iterative process, and we can only achieve our vision in partnership with you. There will be opportunities to get involved in the future, and for now we welcome your feedback via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check back on these pages as they develop to find out how you can get involved and support a #HealthyLSE today and in the future.