Student mental health provision

Request 

Dear Freedom of Information team,

My name is ..... and I would like some information around your mental health provision that is available to students, particularly the number of mental health/ wellbeing advisors available and how that compares to your student population. 
 
I am hoping to do some bench-marking research and would appreciate it if you could answer the questions (which are also outlined below) in the format of the attached Excel spreadsheet. The use of this information will be purely internal and not for media or publication purposes.  

1.a.What has been the total number/student population for the last 3 academic years?

1.b. What has been the total number of HESA reportable 'full time' students for the last 3 academic years?

1.c. What has been the total number of distance learners for the last 3 academic years?

2. How many FTE staff have a day to day responsibility for looking after primarily student mental health at your institution. Please report across the last 3 academic years? (NB: these may be called mental health/wellbeing advisors and are usually located within your student services team).  

3.a. How many students have sought mental health support from your services over the last 3 academic years?

3.b.i. What percentage of those seeking support in Q:3A, had previously informed the institution of difficulties with mental health?

3.b.ii.  What percentage of students at your institution have declared a disability relating to Mental Health over the last three years?

c. Of the students cited in 3a, how many used online self-care services such as ‘Silver Cloud’ over the last 3 academic years?

4.a. What has been the total budget for Mental health/wellbeing services over the last 3 academic years?
4.b. What percentage of the total University expenditure does this (4a) account for over the last 3 academic years?

5.a. Over the last 3 academic years have you offered students access to an in-house counselling service or are students referred to a third party service?
5.b. What has been the standard offer to students with mental health difficulties? (ie do you offer a set number of sessions with a counselor?)

6. How many claims of Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) were submitted over the last 3 academic years that cited ill mental health?
6.a. How many claims of Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) were upheld/agreed over the last 3 academic years that cited ill mental health? 

If you need anymore clarification, I am more than happy to discuss this on the phone.
 

Thank you,

Response

Dear Ms...,
 
I write further to your request for information dated 9 April 2019.  This request has been handled by the University in accordance with its duties and obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA"). 
 
You requested details of:
 
1.a. What has been the total number/student population for the last 3 academic years?
1.b. What has been the total number of HESA reportable 'full time' students for the last 3 academic years?
1.c. What has been the total number of distance learners for the last 3 academic years?

2. How many FTE staff have a day to day responsibility for looking after primarily student mental health at your institution. Please report across the last 3 academic years? (NB: these may be called mental health/wellbeing advisors and are usually located within your student services team).  

3.a. How many students have sought mental health support from your services over the last 3 academic years?
3.b.i. What percentage of those seeking support in Q:3A, had previously informed the institution of difficulties with mental health?
3.b.ii. What percentage of students at your institution have declared a disability relating to Mental Health over the last three years?
3.c. Of the students cited in 3a, how many used online self-care services such as ‘Silver Cloud’ over the last 3 academic years?

4.a What has been the total budget for Mental health/wellbeing services over the last 3 academic years?
4.b. What percentage of the total University expenditure does this (4a) account for over the last 3 academic years?

5.a. Over the last 3 academic years have you offered students access to an in-house counselling service or are students referred to a third party service?
5.b. What has been the standard offer to students with mental health difficulties? (ie do you offer a set number of sessions with a counselor?)

6. How many claims of Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) were submitted over the last 3 academic years that cited ill mental health?
a. How many claims of Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) were upheld/agreed over the last 3 academic years that cited ill mental health?  
 
The university's response is set out below:
 
1.a. Request refused under s.21 FOIA, as the information is readily accessible by other means. This information is available from HESA  
1.b. Request refused under s.21 FOIA. See 1a).
1.c. Request refused under s.21 FOIA. See 1a).
 
2. Request refused under s.21 FOIA as the information is readily accessible by other means. The information is available on the university website here
 
3.a. 2015/16 = 422
      2016/17 = 525
      2017/18 = 560
3.b.i. Information not held
3.b.ii. 2015/16 - information not held
        2016/17 - information not held
        2017/18 - 335
3.c. Information not held
 
4.a. The budget is for the Counselling Service as a whole
      2015/16 - £207,078
      2016/17 - £207,078
      2017/18 - £207,078
4.b. Information not held
 
5.a. Request refused under s.21 FOIA, as the information is readily accessible by other means.The information is available on the university website here
5.b. See 5a above.
 
6 & 6.a. Request refused under s.12 FOIA. Mental health is not a specific category under mitigating circumstances. We would have to go through each individual claim to see the specific reason.
 
If you are not satisfied with the handling of your request, you may request an internal review.  Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter by writing to:

Chris Ince
University Secretary
London Metropolitan University
166-220 Holloway Road
London
N7 8DB
 
Email: c.ince@londonmet.ac.uk
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Telephone:  0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745
Website:  www.ico.org.uk
 
There is no charge for making an appeal.
 
Kind regards,

Tracy Brathwaite
Information Compliance Officer
University Secretary's Office
London Metropolitan University
166-220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB
Switchboard: 020 7423 0000