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Taking a ‘whole university’ approach to student mental health: the contribution of academic libraries

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Taking a ‘whole university’ approach to student mental health : the contribution of academic libraries. / Brewster, Liz; Cox, Andrew.

In: Higher Education Research and Development, 08.03.2022.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Brewster L, Cox A. Taking a ‘whole university’ approach to student mental health: the contribution of academic libraries. Higher Education Research and Development. 2022 Mar 8. Epub 2022 Mar 8. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2022.2043249

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@article{11718aac16cd4f9285cc70923697bc5e,
title = "Taking a {\textquoteleft}whole university{\textquoteright} approach to student mental health: the contribution of academic libraries",
abstract = "As concerns about student mental health have increased, policy aims have moved towards a {\textquoteleft}whole-university{\textquoteright} approach. The 2017 Universities UK #Stepchange framework made this principle a formal part of policy initiatives and legitimises it via its calls for action. The policy distributes responsibility for mental health support across the institution, highlighting four key reasons for intervention: risk, regulation, success and policy. However, little is known about how this policy has been translated into practice and how activities for mental health have been adopted into the everyday work of higher education (HE) institutions. This article explores how one service common across all HE institutions, the academic library, has interpreted this call to contribute to student mental health. Using data from a national UK survey alongside policy analysis, this article investigates the strategic rationale and the practicalities of engaging with a whole-university approach. Findings show that local concerns often drove activity, which could be mapped to some aspects of a whole-university approach, but that the boundaries of professional expertise and resources were key considerations in accepting distributed responsibility. More broadly, mental health support was recontextualised to include wellbeing; this made it easier to adopt some aspects of a whole-university approach but focused on prevention rather than risk and regulation. As a result, activities being conducted in practice did not align directly with the whole-university approach.",
keywords = "Student mental health, whole-university approach, academic libraries",
author = "Liz Brewster and Andrew Cox",
year = "2022",
month = mar,
day = "8",
doi = "10.1080/07294360.2022.2043249",
language = "English",
journal = "Higher Education Research and Development",
issn = "0729-4360",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Taking a ‘whole university’ approach to student mental health

T2 - the contribution of academic libraries

AU - Brewster, Liz

AU - Cox, Andrew

PY - 2022/3/8

Y1 - 2022/3/8

N2 - As concerns about student mental health have increased, policy aims have moved towards a ‘whole-university’ approach. The 2017 Universities UK #Stepchange framework made this principle a formal part of policy initiatives and legitimises it via its calls for action. The policy distributes responsibility for mental health support across the institution, highlighting four key reasons for intervention: risk, regulation, success and policy. However, little is known about how this policy has been translated into practice and how activities for mental health have been adopted into the everyday work of higher education (HE) institutions. This article explores how one service common across all HE institutions, the academic library, has interpreted this call to contribute to student mental health. Using data from a national UK survey alongside policy analysis, this article investigates the strategic rationale and the practicalities of engaging with a whole-university approach. Findings show that local concerns often drove activity, which could be mapped to some aspects of a whole-university approach, but that the boundaries of professional expertise and resources were key considerations in accepting distributed responsibility. More broadly, mental health support was recontextualised to include wellbeing; this made it easier to adopt some aspects of a whole-university approach but focused on prevention rather than risk and regulation. As a result, activities being conducted in practice did not align directly with the whole-university approach.

AB - As concerns about student mental health have increased, policy aims have moved towards a ‘whole-university’ approach. The 2017 Universities UK #Stepchange framework made this principle a formal part of policy initiatives and legitimises it via its calls for action. The policy distributes responsibility for mental health support across the institution, highlighting four key reasons for intervention: risk, regulation, success and policy. However, little is known about how this policy has been translated into practice and how activities for mental health have been adopted into the everyday work of higher education (HE) institutions. This article explores how one service common across all HE institutions, the academic library, has interpreted this call to contribute to student mental health. Using data from a national UK survey alongside policy analysis, this article investigates the strategic rationale and the practicalities of engaging with a whole-university approach. Findings show that local concerns often drove activity, which could be mapped to some aspects of a whole-university approach, but that the boundaries of professional expertise and resources were key considerations in accepting distributed responsibility. More broadly, mental health support was recontextualised to include wellbeing; this made it easier to adopt some aspects of a whole-university approach but focused on prevention rather than risk and regulation. As a result, activities being conducted in practice did not align directly with the whole-university approach.

KW - Student mental health

KW - whole-university approach

KW - academic libraries

U2 - 10.1080/07294360.2022.2043249

DO - 10.1080/07294360.2022.2043249

M3 - Journal article

JO - Higher Education Research and Development

JF - Higher Education Research and Development

SN - 0729-4360

ER -