Nicola Barden – Mental Health and Risk Assessments across services

The AMOSSHE 20th birthday project money was well spent on the research that Nicola carried out relating to Mental Health Risk Assessments.

Feels good to know that the 16 Universities that took part are facing the same challenges with these issues as we are.  Particularly difficult to keep tabs on these risk assessments as they tend to be ongoing and not have an obvious end point.

Who is responsible for the risk assessment – everybody and nobody!  Easier to think about who coordinates the risk assessment.  We are starting to think about what we do in terms of how it will look if it comes to an inquest.

Often multiple people know something and it takes someone to speak up to realise this.  What do you do if the student at risk falls of the radar, how do you follow up, how far do you go?

Nicola Barden

Nicola Barden, University of Portsmouth

People are often delighted to refer problems to support services to take it off their hands.  Confidentiality and data protection issues raise their heads time and time again.  Should students be told if they are put on a “risk register”?  All interesting topics that were unpacked at the session.

Lots of information that many of us working within student services deal with every day.  Such a challenging area and not always any right or wrong answers makes this a topic people could discuss all day!

What makes it work- good relationships between services and people, informal liaison, intelligent management.

Recommendations – clear lines of responsibility, shared understanding of what institution means by mental health risk assessment, risk policies and procedures, standard forms and guidelines, monitoring processes, share information.  Good advice, some practical steps to put in place on return to my University.

Great session – thanks Nicola!

Blogged by Fay Sherrington, AMOSSHE Executive Member

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