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Mental Wellbeing

Education for Mental Health Toolkit

Developed as a partnership between the University of Derby, King’s College London, Aston University, Student Minds and Advance HE, and funded by the Office for Students via a Challenge Competition, this toolkit has been created to provide evidence informed guidance on the ways in which curriculum can support both wellbeing and learning.

As a result of collaboration and co-creation, the toolkit makes embedding student mental health in the curriculum accessible: to individuals, staff groups and whole institutions, with resources which are research and evidence informed, alongside staff development activities which have been tried and tested, with relevant supporting case studies. The pedagogy underpinning curriculum design and practice within the toolkit is referenced throughout the resource.

This comprehensive resource makes essential reading for curriculum design and planning,  and staff development for the benefit of student mental health within higher education.

Education for Mental Health

Download a digital copy of the full toolkit, the staff development toolkit and case studies.

Download the report

It has been developed for academic staff, academic managers, university leaders and all of those involved in the development and delivery of curriculum, within higher education. It is grounded in the research literature and has been created through research and co-creation with students, academics, quality staff, learning and teaching staff and Principal Fellows.

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Education for Mental Health Toolkit

The toolkit is divide into the sections outlined below, you can access each section by using the links provided. On each page of the toolkit you will find a link to return you to this overview.


The curriculum is important to mental health and wellbeing because it is one of the few guaranteed points of contact between students and the university. The curriculum is central to the student experience providing focus, structure, engagement, connection and purpose. If universities are to take mental health and wellbeing seriously, the role of the curriculum must be core to their response.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Underpinning Infrastructure

This project has interviewed Quality, Curriculum Development and Academic Teaching staff in universities across the UK. This section draws on their evidence and the literature to explore how universities can support curriculum development that benefits student learning and wellbeing.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Social Belonging

Given the centrality of the curriculum to student experience, this is an important context in which students can find a sense of community, connection and belonging.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Learning Focused

Students who adopt a learning focus will seek to master their discipline and concentrate on their own learning and development. They will engage in deep learning, seek meaning in their learning, be intrinsically motivated, respond positively to academic challenge and generally have better wellbeing.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Scaffolded Design

As the student develops knowledge, understanding and skills, support and instruction can be reduced to allow them to continue to develop independence. In this way, the structure of the curriculum provides students with feelings of safety and control and supports the development of genuine competence and self-efficacy.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Learner Development

Curriculum can support learning and wellbeing by placing a specific focus on the development of students as learners. Through developing as learners, students can build their academic competence and their own sense of self-efficacy, disciplinary belonging, positive self-concept and confidence in approaching future challenges.

This section of the toolkit includes:

Getting students back on track

Given that it is inevitable that some students will experience such disruptions, curriculum design and delivery must take this into account. Curriculum that can only accommodate perfectly smooth student experiences and learning is not calibrated to reality.

This section of the toolkit includes: