Our Vision

Edinburgh Napier University is taking a collaborative institution-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing so that we provide the best possible experience for all students and staff. We are committed to mental health permeating every aspect of our culture and it being part of the experience of learning and teaching. 

Our approach celebrates and reflects the diversity of our student and staff community and seeks to ensure that everyone feels respected, valued and our students supported to realise their potential. 

Our vision is for a University community that is healthy, supportive, inclusive, and well-informed; to be known as a community that promotes wellbeing and positive mental health; and a University that supports staff and students by providing excellent support services. 

Professor Andrea Nolan 
Principal & Vice Chancellor

Principal Andrea Nolan


Steps taken so far

We approved our first University wide Mental Health Strategy in May 2021, which will guide our work through to summer 2024. This strategy was the result of consultation with staff and students. It was discussed and refined by university committees and shaped by Universities UK StepChange: Mentally Healthy Universities Framework.

This framework expresses a shared vision for universities to be places that promote mental health and wellbeing, enabling students and staff to thrive and reach their potential. We have responded to the recommendation that we should adopt mental health as a strategic priority and to take a whole university approach. The framework was co-developed with Student Minds and incorporates many of the ideas found in the University Mental Health Charter.

We have adopted the framework and the Charter as our guides in the production of our strategy and will continue to reference both over the coming years as we implement our actions and reflect and adapt our objectives.

This collaborative, university-wide mental health strategy is a crucial step in achieving our vision of an enhanced student-centered experience where everyone can achieve their full potential.

Geou Akshil SK, ENSA President, Edinburgh Napier University

Benefits to our approach

Student attainment

We believe that there is strong evidence that good mental health has a positive impact on students’ learning, creativity, ability to concentrate and overall performance levels. The link between health and learning gain also continues beyond graduation into employment and life afterwards.

Thriving at work

As an ethical employer we recognise that workplaces that invest in employee wellbeing benefit from enhanced performance, improved job satisfaction, reduced costs from sickness absence, lower staff turnover and higher levels of creativity.

Meeting responsibilities

We have a responsibility to the health and safety of students, staff and visitors and a duty of care to our students and staff. This is set out in health and safety, employment and consumer legislation.

Impact on mental illness

Poor mental health has negative consequences for the learning, work and lives of students and staff. Suicide and serious mental illness have a devastating impact on families, friends and university communities. Students experiencing mental illness are more likely to withdraw from courses, or to underachieve, and are less likely to progress. The direct and hidden costs of staff experiencing poor mental health are significant.

Our key aims

Positive experiences

Universities transform lives through learning. Higher education involves challenge and new ways of thinking - it can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing over a lifetime. We aim to ensure our students have a positive learning, teaching and assessment experience, that is supportive and creates opportunities for students to perform to the best of their abilities.

Meeting demand

Nationally the demand for mental health support among students and staff has increased significantly. Universities currently resource a wide range of services to support those experiencing impaired mental health. We aim to deliver excellent support services to staff and students.

Staff engagement

Good mental health is central to staff engagement, productivity and creativity. We aim to engage effectively with our staff to understand the impact of our policies on the staff experience and to deliver change and improvements when we identify this is necessary to deliver our vision.

Healthy places

We aim to support our students by creating healthy places to live and will foster this though a range of actions including targeted health promotion projects; supporting the development of healthy cultures; building a healthy environment; and supporting a healthy community.

Useful links

What's next

Edinburgh Napier’s mental health and wellbeing strategy sets out 16 key objectives that will be implemented over three years to enable us to achieve our aims. The University’s Inclusion Committee retains oversight of the strategy and will shape and guide on a year-to-year basis our priorities for action.

However, we also recognise that to make an impact, a strategy document alone is not enough. The Edinburgh Napier community and all the individuals, departments, organisations and teams it encompasses must be empowered and supported to shape, contribute to, and deliver the actions which will ensure that we meet our aspirations to be a healthy, supportive, inclusive and well-informed community.

Our full Strategy document is available below to read and reflect on. If you have any ideas you would like to contribute, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing m.wilkinson@napier.ac.uk