Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework

Kingston University is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our community. We aim to create a supportive and inclusive environment where students are provided with a range of accessible services, activities and interventions to help them succeed while studying with us.

We recognise there are times when students may struggle due to the demands of studying and other pressures in their lives. We have developed this Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework to set out our whole institution commitment to protecting the wellbeing of students and staff. Our framework is aligned with the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter for which we are a Programme Member.

Our approach includes resources and interventions to enhance mental fitness, encourage healthy behaviours, and empower students to manage their own mental health and wellbeing. Students are enabled to access appropriate wellbeing support if they need it through a combination of internal services and external partnerships.

Commitments and limitations

The health and wellbeing of our students is a top priority. We recognise our legal duties and responsibilities in relation to health and safety regulations, the Equality Act 2010 and the safeguarding of children and adults at risk.

However, we also believe it is important for our students and their supporters to have absolute clarity about the boundaries of what we can and cannot provide as a university.

University self-referral services

Our Student Life, Health and Wellbeing team offers a range of services to students on a self-referral basis. This means students must usually request and engage with these services to benefit from them.

  • Emotional and wellbeing support is available in the form of short-term counselling (up to 6 sessions), listening sessions, time/stress management and drop-ins. Students have access to self-help guides covering a variety of common issues from Anxiety to Sleeping Problems.
  • Mental Health and Disability Advisers recommend adjustments based on medical evidence, and support students with a diagnosed disability or mental health condition to fully engage with their studies.
  • Students can access money advice, financial support and faith and spirituality services, and we have in place tailored support for groups that face specific challenges in accessing and succeeding at university, such as our KU Cares programme for students who are care experienced, estranged from their family, young adult carers or sanctuary scholars.
  • We have a robust safeguarding process, which can be used by staff, students, visitors and other parties to report concerns about a student.

Liaison with external providers

The University adheres to guidance and sector best practice in its delivery of our internal services. However, our in-house provision is not an emergency service, and does not seek to replicate or replace statutory services such as the NHS.

There are times when it is most beneficial for our students to receive specialist care or intervention directly from these services, either instead of, or alongside our internal support. This is particularly true when there are complex health or risk factors, or when individuals need emergency or crisis support. In these circumstances, we will help our students access relevant services outside the university. This may include signposting to specialist charities and third sector organisations, as well as statutory services.

We believe that providing internal services within the bounds and remit of our role as a university, and working as closely as possible with the NHS, local authorities, and other external organisations, is the best way to ensure our students have access to the broadest range of support, the most positive outcome for their care needs, and the best chance of success at university.

Information sharing

At a time of crisis, our primary concern is for the wellbeing of the student. In line with our data privacy policy, if a student is a risk to themselves or others, our priority will be to inform relevant emergency services to enable appropriate intervention by professionals with the necessary skills and expertise.

We will only ever involve a student's emergency contact in conversations about their wellbeing with the student's explicit consent. The only exception is in an emergency, to protect the student's vital interests. In these cases, we will use the most recent emergency contact information provided to us by the student.

Whole University approach

We are a signatory of the University Mental Health Charter, which sets out principles of good practice that universities can follow to achieve a whole-university approach. The Charter's 18 themes are mapped against the 4 domains of the UUK Mentally Healthy Universities model:

This framework provides examples of activities, services and interventions to support the mental health and wellbeing of students at Kingston University across each of the 4 domains and identifies a key action in each area for delivery in 2023/24.

Our strategic aims

Through this work we aim to achieve the following measures of success:


The health and wellbeing of our community is perceived by students and staff as a priority.


Healthy behaviours are actively encouraged and promoted.


Curriculum design and development includes consideration of how learning, teaching and assessment practices may impact student health and wellbeing.


Support services are well-governed, appropriately resourced, safe, effective, and accessible to all students.


Support staff are approachable and interactions with students are underpinned by care, compassion, trust, and respect.


Students feel they are listened to and have autonomy over decision making regarding their support needs.


Students can access information and support at a time and via a channel that is most suitable for them.


Institutional research and the evaluation of services and interventions inform decision-making and ensure continuous improvement.

Our whole-university approach

A whole-university approach must include both adequately resourced, effective and accessible mental health services and proactive interventions.

It must provide an environment and culture that reduces poor mental health, as well as supporting good mental health, and facilitating staff and students to develop insight, understanding and skills to manage and maintain their own wellbeing.

Hughes, G. & Spanner, L. (2019) The University Mental Health Charter


  • Transition into university
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Progression

Key action for 2023/24 – Implement the Navigate module in all courses as part of the Future Skills workstream of the Town House Strategy.

Autism Transition Day

In 2023, we introduced a pre-entry, 1-day event for incoming undergraduate students with a declared Autism Spectrum Condition.

The aim is to support the transition from sixth form/college to university and introduce students (and their parents/carers) to staff and support services available to them, as they adjust to a university environment.

Future Skills

Kingston is committed to developing graduates who will be sought after because they have the skills required by industry and society to meet the challenges of the future.

We launched Future Skills in 2022, a progressive new model of education that will ensure students from all backgrounds can develop the future skills and personal attributes needed to successfully navigate the world of work and overcome the challenges in their lives.

Core modules to embed future skills in the curriculum for all students will be designed, implemented and assessed as part of every undergraduate academic programme over the next 3 years.

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Head Start

Head Start is a pre-entry programme to support the transition of firm offer holders to Kingston University.

It includes 3-day residential, 1-day express and additional online events. These are available each summer, before applicants enrol at the University.

Head Start is designed to build confidence, belonging, provide study skills advice and familiarise incoming students with support services available to them at the University.

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Inclusive Learning and Teaching

Kingston University's Inclusive Curriculum Framework identifies three key principles which should inform academic programmes from concept to review. All students should:

  1. be enabled to access the curriculum, both conceptually and practically;
  2. see themselves reflected in the curriculum;
  3. be equipped to positively contribute to and work in a global and diverse environment.

Our Inclusive Curriculum Consultant Programme has been designed to promote student engagement and student voice in the development of curricula, and foster partnership between staff and students to support course reviews and other enhancement activities.

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  • Support services
  • Assessing risk
  • External partnerships
  • Information sharing

Key action for 2023/24 – Successful delivery of the Student Hubs project to deliver accessible and seamless provision of services that will enhance the satisfaction, welfare and success of all students.

Information Centre

Launched in September 2019, the Information Centre provides students with a single point of contact for advice and guidance on a range of aspects of student life.

Our friendly, customer-focused team of Information Centre staff will help resolve a wide range of enquiries or connect students to the right service or person to help as quickly as possible.

Students can access 24/7 support through a range of channels including a chatbot, Live Chat, telephone, email or in person at our four Information Centre help desks, located in the library at each campus.

Preventing and addressing harassment and sexual misconduct

Kingston is a diverse and vibrant learning community. We want everyone who studies and works here to have a positive experience where they are accepted as their authentic selves and treated with respect.

We are committed to building an inclusive and supportive environment with a culture of acceptance without exception. We do not tolerate any form of harassment, bullying or sexual misconduct and any such allegations will be taken extremely seriously.

There are both formal and informal routes available for students to report any behaviour they witness or experience that makes them uncomfortable. Any student reporting harassment will be advised of the support available to them, both internal and external.

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Kingston University is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all students, staff and visitors.

We are aware of our legal duties to provide a safe environment and safeguard children, young people, and adults at risk.

We believe that safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and concern. Students, staff and visitors have a duty to be alert to possible risks and signs of abuse and report any concerns.

Our Safeguarding Policy and information about how to report safeguarding concerns can be found on the University website. We have a dedicated team in place who will respond to these concerns swiftly, in liaison with relevant external agencies and services.

Student Life, Health and Wellbeing

The University offers a range of specialist wellbeing services including mental health and disability support, short-term counselling and one-off time/stress management and drop-in sessions.

These services are available on a self-referral basis, which means students must request and engage with the services to benefit from them.

Our student advice team can help with queries related to student funding, money issues, accommodation and housing. Information about the full range of services and how to access them can be found at the Student Wellbeing Hub on My Kingston, or via the Wellbeing tile on the KU App.

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  • Staff wellbeing
  • Staff development

Key action for 2023/24 – Improve awareness of and access to staff guidance, learning and development in relation to student wellbeing.

Staff wellbeing

Kingston provides all staff with independent, free and confidential 24/7 support through the Employee Assistance Programme (internal link). Services include 24-hour crisis support, consumer and legal advice, counselling, learning and development tools.

Staff working in specialist roles have access to ongoing support and supervision to protect their wellbeing while supporting students in challenging circumstances.

Training and development

All staff are encouraged to complete essential training on Safeguarding, Supporting Student Mental Health, and Implementing Reasonable Adjustments.

Some staff members (such as those in frontline roles) are offered additional training on topics such as conversations with vulnerable people, suicide prevention and sexual assault first response.

A Mental Health and Wellbeing Toolkit has been created to help academic staff reflect on how to embed mental health literacies into the curriculum and develop supportive teaching practices.

Further information on compliance training can be found in the corporate induction booklet and there is a range of additional learning and support material available on the EDI Hub (internal link).


  • Proactive interventions
  • A health physical and cultural environment
  • Social integration
  • Residential accommodation

Key action for 2023/24 – Complete a review of student accommodation provision and develop an accommodation roadmap that will ensure a high quality and consistent experience for students across all university halls of residence.

Faith and spirituality

Staff and students at Kingston University represent a broad spectrum of cultures and faiths, making Kingston a rich environment in which to study and work.

The Faith and Spirituality team supports students and staff from a wide variety of faith, spiritual and contemplative backgrounds.

We want to develop a sense of community on all campuses in which everyone feels welcome, whatever their religion, faith, belief or non-belief.

We provide prayer spaces across all campuses, information on places of worship in the community, faith and spirituality events and a team of multi-faith advisers for advice, support and prayer.

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Student Engagement and Attendance Monitoring

The University uses a combination of physical and virtual attendance data to monitor academic engagement. This allows us to contact students with low engagement and offer support to get them back on track.

Students are required to check in to all scheduled classes and let the Student Engagement team know about any absences.

Students can view their own attendance data via the KU App.

Student Sports and Active Lifestyles

Sports and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are key parts of the overall student experience and can contribute positively to student wellbeing.

The University offers an outdoor sports ground at Tolworth Court with high quality pitches for a variety of sports.

A tennis court, fitness trail and multi-use games area are available at our Kingston Hill campus.

We work in partnership with More Energy to provide a Fitness Centre at Penrhyn Road campus. A dedicated team offer club and recreational sport, coaching and a dedicated programme to support Talented Athletes.

Our uGOiGO scheme recognises that starting a new activity can be daunting alone, and links students with a buddy who can provide a bit of extra support and confidence to get them started.

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