The University of St Andrews has recently expanded their Student Services department with the hiring of a mental health coordinator.
The mental health coordinator will work as part of the wider Student Services team (including the Counselling, Disabilities and Support Advising teams), and will also liaise with academic schools and the wider University. A spokesperson for the University confirmed to The Saint that “additionally, the Mental Health Coordinator will work closely with external agencies (such as General Practitioners and Community Mental Health Teams), to ensure a connected approach to mental healthcare.”
Previously, the University recommended a student feeling at risk to either see a General Practitioner (GP) or get into contact with student services to have someone listen “non-judgmentally” and offer help and/or advice, as seen under the mental health and well-being tab of the University’s advice and support website.
This hiring marks the first position in the University’s Student Services department that has an explicit role in the handling of mental health issues on campus.
The University spokesperson expanded on the intention behind creating the role: “The purpose of this role is to help students with complex or enduring mental health problems, by helping to facilitate and co-ordinate access to appropriate mental health services.
“The University appreciates that some students may require more support in connecting with additional care for mental health and this new post, specifically for students, will facilitate access to existing mental health services within Fife.”
Jack Carr, the Students’ Association’s Director of Representation, told The Saint that, “I was very pleased to be asked to represent students in the selection of the new Mental Health Coordinator.
“This is a very positive move by Student Services and I commend their engagement with the student body’s concerns about Mental Health provision in Fife.”
He continued, “I have full confidence in their ability to shape and define this new role in a way, which will benefit students with acute mental health difficulties.”