Securing better mental health support for students

Who's making it happen


It's clear we're facing an incredible challenging time and a student mental health crisis. At Oxford SU we're committed to actively lobbying and working closely with the collegiate University to improve student mental health for all students.

Over two thirds (74%) of 18- 24 year olds say lockdown has made their mental health worse, compared with 60% of adults. Over 4 in 5 (82%) of young people had a lower than average wellbeing score (Mind, 2020).

Read our latest blog update on our mental health work here

According to the NUS

  • Over half of students (52%) say their mental health is worse than before the pandemic.
  • 20% of students have sought support for their mental health.
  • Only 29% of those that said their mental health is worse have sought support.
  •  Of those that received support 3 in 5 were satisfied with it.
  • Over half of students found their caring duties increased during the pandemic.

We played a key role in securing the Unviersity Mental Health Taskforce and continue to work with staff across the collegaite University on this issue.

Groups we sit on:

  • University student wellbeing subcommittee: a University level groups that plans and approves the Unviersity's wellbeing services.
  • Conference of colleges welfare forum: a group of college welfare leads to share best practice.

Key wins secured 2020/21

Mental Health Wins – Over £400,000 extra invested by the University and Colleges in Mental Health at Oxford

We have worked in partnership with the University and colleges to make the case for additional resources and staff support to meet unprecedented demand from the covid student mental health crisis. We are pleased to see the University have committed to a significant investment over £400,000 to meet demand. Changes from the funding secured includes:

  • Expanding the Counselling Service to help tackle the student mental health crisis by recruiting two full time equivalent counsellors.
  • Making the University Counselling service more inclusive and accessible to students from under-represented backgrounds by hiring a counsellor who is specialised in supporting black students and making plans to ensure all students feel welcome at the Counselling service.
  • Improving support over the 2020/21 Christmas Vacation by providing additional counselling availability over the Christmas closure period.

Coming up: 

We're running two workshops in May 2021 to give you the chance to shape our Mental Health policy:

The events are open to all students.

Workshop 1: Monday 10th May 3-5pm. Oxford SU workshop on student mental health: What’s the student mental health crisis and what are we doing about it at Oxford?

Get your free ticket at: 

Workshop 2: Tuesday 18th May 2021 3.30-5.30pm. Oxford SU workshop on Student mental health: What’s next for Oxford and how do we work together to tackle the student mental health crisis?

Get your free ticket at: 



The first phase of the taskforce has now been completed with a second phase now in progress focussing on the current support available across the college and University in order to identify the best next steps. We continue to ensure student views are heard as part of the taskforce and are hosting two workshops in May 2021 to provide an opportunity for you to help shape our policy in this important area.

We have hosted two online workshops for students to learn more about the student mental health crisis, our lobbying work at the SU, and how they can get involved. We are using the information collated at these workshops to write a policy motion that we will take to Student Council in 7th week. This will ensure that the lobbying work we have done this year on student mental health continues into the next academic year.