UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Student Mental Health Partnerships

Student Mental Health Partnerships is a national project funded by the Office for Students and led by UWE Bristol, focussed on improving partnership working via a National Learning Collaborative.

Find out more on the UWE Bristol project website

Funded through the Office for Students Mental Health Challenge CompetitionStudent Mental Health Partnerships is focussed on tackling problems identified in the Universities UK Minding our Future report, including the need for better links between university and NHS services. 

Seven universities and their respective Students Unions within five city ‘Hubs’ in England (Bristol, North London, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester) are collaborating on this project. UCL leads the North London Hub, coordinated by PsychUP for Wellbeing. Our partners in the North London Hub are working with Imperial College London, Students’ Union UCL, Imperial College Union, iCope talking therapies service for Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Ridgmount GP Practice and Imperial College Health Centre.

Our work in North London is centred around the UCL Steps Model, the framework for a care pathway for all students needing support with their mental health. The Steps model titrates support to need, reflects the developmental needs of students, and facilitates cross-sector partnerships working by bringing together elements of the NICE-recommended stepped-care model used in adult services, with the Thrive framework for young people. 


Projects which are part of Student Mental Health Partnerships at UCL: 

IMPACTS (IMProving ACcess to Treatment and Support)

A mixed-methods study, led by students, investigating barriers to students accessing support and their experiences of care.


IMPACTS has played a central role in helping us identify where there are gaps in support or healthcare inequalities faced by particular groups of students, which has helped determine the focus for other aspects of the Student Mental Health Partnerships work at UCL. For examle, the need for the peer support blended intervention we are piloting was identified through the IMPACTS project.  

Read more about the IMPACTS peer research project here

Student Fellows Consultation 

Five students have been recruited from UCL and Imperial to plan and deliver a series of consultation activities with students at both universities to inform our understanding of students’ views and expectations. The consultations are focused on four themes: 

  • Students’ views on data sharing between universities and other services (e.g. NHS) 
  • Students’ expectations of mental health and support services
  • Students’ views on social prescribing 
  • Students’ views on peer support
Workshop and Peer Support Blended Intervention

A pilot project with Students’ Union UCL and iCope (North London IAPT service) to improve pathways into support by creating a ‘peer link worker’ role to support students’ navigation of services and support available to them for their mental health.

SPEQS (Student Services Pathways Evaluation and Quality Standards)

A joint project with the University of Sheffield, this evaluation captures both service and student perspectives on partnership working from the five Hubs.

Read more about SPEQS here.

UCL University Clinic

An NHS clinic set up at UCL to provide evidence-based treatment to students. The clinic is staffed by trained professionals from the NHS, clinical academics from the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences and NHS-funded clinical trainees. 

Read more about the University Clinic model, and the potential it has to improve student mental health care here. 

NHS Integration Operational Group

Convened by PsychUP for Wellbeing to enable closer collaboration between university and NHS services, the group includes representation from Students' Union UCL, UCL Student Support & Wellbeing, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, and local NHS services. Members are listed on our collaborators page

Providing a forum for staff from health and education sectors to come together enables better connections between services for students needing mental health support.