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Our work
Our work

Improving student mental health

We worked with Universities UK to develop policy on student mental health. This included facilitating a working group, developing strategy, and producing an influencing report.

The challenge

Universities UK, the umbrella body for Higher Education Institutions, had convened a working group of senior stakeholders to develop policy and commission a report on closer working between NHS and university-commissioned student mental health services. The group met infrequently and had very little time to commit to the project. Our task was to provide a context which allowed the group to contribute meaningfully and achieve some very concrete goals.

Our approach

We advised that the key task was not to produce a report but to mobilise a coalition who would work for improved collaboration between the NHS and student health and wellbeing services. We supported the working group to develop a sophisticated theory of change, encompassing policy, professional capability development, and a high profile call to action. We made good use of limited resources, facilitating fast-paced, high energy meetings for the working group and working in greater detail with smaller subgroups with specialist interests. We developed a rigorous yet readable narrative for electronic publication.

Kaleidoscope had a creative approach that brought together different people into the right place so that those different people could tackle different parts of the same problem.

John de Pury, Assistant Director of Policy, Universities UK


At launch, the report – Minding our future: starting a conversation about the support of student mental health – was the lead story on BBC news, featured widely in the national media, and generated a consensus that the issue of student mental health needed to be given a greater priority.

Time frames were tight and it was very much appreciated that Kaleidoscope stuck to them. The use of time was creative and the ability to spin-off other meetings from the main meeting was seen as both positive and a good use of main meeting time.

John de Pury, Assistant Director of Policy, Universities UK

Our work

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