Mental health conditions
Wellbeing warning signs

What is mental health?

Mental health is everyone’s business. Everyone has mental health. Mental health can be thought of in terms of how we think, feel and act. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood. Being mentally healthy does not just mean that you do not have a mental health illness. Your mental health does not always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life. It is worth noting that a total of 76% of all mental health disorders are established by the age of 18 which is a critical point of emotional, educational and social development (Kim-Cohen et al 2003). If you are in good mental health you can make the most of your potential to cope with life, play a full part in your family, workplace, friends and community.

Mental health

What is the toolkit for?

The aim of this toolkit is to help staff to support students with mental health conditions in universities.

There is a plethora of resources available which focus on mental health generally and a number focus on student mental health. Most of these however deal with students who have just left school and perhaps left home for the first time. UHI Outer Hebrides staff recognised that students attending university have a wider range of backgrounds and experiences which the available resources do not reflect; particularly mature students and those studying entirely online.

It was recognised that staff were unsure about how to support and where to go to for advice. This toolkit aims to provide a single resource which can be used by all university staff to increase knowledge, understanding and confidence, in order to help students maximise their academic potential.

"You and your team have done a fantastic job with this resource - it's an excellent source of information and very easy to navigate" – Dr Rachel Drury – RCS Scotland

"A well-produced piece of work perfectly timed for the climate all of us in tertiary education are facing just now" – Claire Kilburn-Young – Inverness College UHI

"I think the resource you have created is brilliant" – Dr Dominique Thompson Director of Buzz Consulting / [Former] Director, University of Bristol Students’ Health Service

Click on each book to discover more information on each condition

Click on each warning sign for more information.

Wellbeing warning signs

Rachel Erskine, Eilidh MacPhail and Kate Mawby would like to thank the following people for their support, conversations and advice in the development of this resource.


  • Rachel Drury – Lecturer in Learning & Teaching in the Performing Arts, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Rebecca Smith – Lecturer BSc (hons) Sustainable Development Lews Castle College University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Andrew Gibson – Academic Practice Development, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Andy Blackall - Academic Practice Development, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Iain Morrison – Dean of Students, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Claire Kilburn-Young - Inverness College University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Allie Scott – Wellbeing Officer, Perth College University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Dominique Thompson Director of Buzz Consulting / [Former] Director, University of Bristol Students’ Health Service

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British Columbia Ministry of Education (2001) Teaching students with mental health disorders: Resources for teachers Volume 2 – Depression [online] available from <http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/inclusive/mental-health-disorders-vol2.pdf> [5 October 2017]

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