Uni of Herts students petition to save ‘unique’ mental health recovery course

University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield

University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield - Credit: Archant

University of Hertfordshire students are petitioning to save the Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion Masters course.

The online petition has received more than 150 signatures and claims removing the course would be removing support for students with mental illness as it says ‘half of the students attending have lived experience of mental illness’.

Organiser and student of the course Kevin McHugh-Barker described his own experience with mental illness and the reasons why he believes the course should be continued in a video.

He said of the course: “It offers people who have missed out on previous qualifications at higher education, as long as they can study at level 7, a chance to take the course.

“This course is instrumental to changing policy and directing mental health service providers to give the services and care to people with lived experiences of mental health deserve.”

Fellow student Claire Woodcock said: “This course is unique as it encourages people and supports people with lived experience of mental health to take part in the course, but provides all students with the opportunity to progress to careers in research, policy and other valuable roles in mental health that can make such a difference to the society.”

Jackie Kelly, dean of school health and social work at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “As a university, and in the school of health and social work, we continue to review our courses to ensure both the quality and viability of our programmes. The MSc Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion programme has fallen short of viability for several years. The delivery of this course is therefore under review, but no decision has yet been taken. We are considering the future of this course carefully and will engage with all relevant stakeholders to get their views on the programme, and support the needs of our current and prospective students.

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“We are proud to deliver a number of high-quality courses at Herts, educating the next generation of mental health professionals. We offer a range of pre-qualifying entry courses, as well as postgraduate and CPD programmes for professionals, supporting them to continue developing their skills and expertise throughout their careers.”

Visit here to view the petition.