Publish date: 27 June 2022

Mersey Care was invited to present at a round table event involving Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, Michelle Donelan. This was to signify the launch of a joint Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care initiative involving up to £3 million investment in closing the gaps between university and NHS services. Students are set to benefit from better joined up mental health services to prevent them falling through the gaps at university.

Liverpool is one of five locations where these approaches have already been developed. The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Brownlow Health, the Innovation Agency and Mersey Care established the Liverpool Liaison Model as part of the Office for Students funded Improving Student Mental Health project. The service has two key components, a liaison service and a treatment service for students who self harm. The liaison service works with NHS services and universities to ensure students access appropriate mental health support and that NHS and services and the student’s university work together to provide appropriate support. The UCOPE service provides therapeutic intervention for students who self harm enabling students to manage distressing feelings more effectively which in turn supports them to continue in studies.

Office for Students funding has now ended and the service is being expanded to the other higher education institutions in Liverpool. It will be jointly funded by them and Mersey Care. The partners are looking to establish the service on a long term basis within the city. Other university cities are already adopting this model.