A NORTH east university is one of the first in the country to sign up with a leading charity to provide mental health support to students.

Teesside University is one of ten across the country to take part in the Mentally Healthy Universities programme which will be delivered by Mind.

The programme will provide support and specialist training to equip people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support their own mental health and that of others.

Goldman Sachs, which is a major recruiter of university graduates, is backing the programme as part of broader efforts to improve mental health support in the workplace and wider communities.

Emma Howitt, chief executive officer at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind said: “Whilst university can be an incredibly exciting time for students, it can also come with a unique set of challenges – including moving away from friends, family and the familiarity of home.

"It’s so important that students are supported throughout their journey which is why we’re so pleased to be working with Goldman Sachs to improve mental health resources and provide training at Teesside University.”

With a focus on students in their first and final years of study, the programme will address transitional moments in students’ lives that can bring added challenges and pressures, other universities taking part include Bath and Bristol.

Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Teesside University, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this valuable new initiative and look forward to working with Mind and Goldman Sachs to further support our university community. Equipping students and staff with the tools and knowledge to support their mental health will enhance the university experience and provide vital skills for students’ future wellbeing.”

And Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International, added: “The transition through higher education and into the workforce is often a challenging and pressurised time in young people’s lives. We believe employers have an important role to play in changing attitudes towards mental health through providing support, resources and open conversation around an often stigmatized subject."