USI recently attended a knowledge exchange event around the healthy campus framework. This framework encompasses all elements of health and wellbeing, including mental health, for students and staff in higher education. It’s the overarching guidance for all policies and actions taken by campuses to ensure the health and wellbeing for those who work and study there.

The only way to know if a framework or policy is working, and having the desired impact, is to evaluate it, and any good policy should have evaluation as an integral part of it to ensure regular adjustments are made as needed.

This knowledge exchange event was working to develop an evaluation toolkit for the healthy campus framework. USI were asked to attend and give input that represented the student voice in the process. This is really important because if the student voice is not included in the development stages of important policies that will affect students, how can it reflect the needs of students accurately? This is a key part of the work that USI do – ensuring that the student voice and student needs are heard and considered as important within these processes.

The toolkit is in the early stages of development, but work is ongoing to progress it. In the meantime, most campuses are working to roll out the healthy campus framework, and as part of that, the student mental health and suicide prevention framework. You can find out more about both of those frameworks here and here.

A big part of these frameworks is people learning from one another and sharing ideas. We know from the recent student achievement awards that there are many amazing projects that students are spearheading that tackle important health and wellbeing issues on campus. The Healthy Campus team want to create a directory of examples of good practice and good ideas like these, so that others can be inspired to implement them on their campuses. If you are involved in a project like that, and would like to share it, you can find out more about how to do that here.