East Durham College has reaffirmed its commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter – created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.

The 11-point document includes commitments to:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
  • Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
  • Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate

Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means East Durham College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its 4000+ students and staff.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal at East Durham College, said: “Supporting our students comes first and foremost at the college – we’re committed to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our students, and that’s why we’re also committed to encouraging our students to talk about their mental health and to feel like they can approach staff with any concerns they may have, at any time.

“We already have fantastic mental health support at the college and we plan to develop it even further with the support of the Association of Colleges Mental Health Charter.”

Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like East Durham College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”