The programme, commissioned by Newcastle and Cardiff Metropolitan universities, has already been trialled at the schools as an integral component of their mental health strategy, but also as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility remit.
Marshall ACM, a market-leading provider of specialised mental health training software to universities, and Shaw Mind Foundation, a pioneer in school-based mental health support, will create institutional network opportunities for schools and universities. The purpose is to create greater diversity of opportunity for the 17% of students entering higher education with existing mental health conditions and mitigate the entry barriers they face.
This partnership is a proactive social enterprise. Marshall ACM, with its unique market position, will provide access to a comprehensive network of higher education leaders and decision makers keen to take pre-emptive steps to reduce the impact of mental health issues. Shaw Mind Foundation will contribute its expertise and well-researched big-data sets about school students facing mental health challenges. Together, Marshall and Shaw Mind Foundation will encourage universities to support local schools with funding and infrastructure providing preventive integration of mental health services between schools and universities.
Each year 6.4 per cent of young undergraduates drop out after a year or less, meaning universities face huge costs both in loss of revenue and academic performance.
A Marshall spokesperson said, "At Marshall ACM we are acutely aware of the tragic consequence that can stem from a lack of support being available to young people facing mental illness, while simultaneously undergoing arguably, the most challenging transition: from school to university. Our partnership with Shaw Mind Foundation is designed to bridge the gap in knowledge and strategy that currently exists during this journey from pupil to student."
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