Statistics of number of parents / nominated persons contacted by university regarding student mental wellbeing.

The request was successful.

Dear Peterhouse, Cambridge,
Following a spate of sudden student deaths in 2018, an ‘opt-in scheme’ was pioneered by the University of Bristol as part of a set of measures aimed at preventing suicide. In 2019, a coroner wrote to the Department for Education and Minister for Suicide Prevention suggesting that these measures might be shared throughout the sector. I am now seeking to establish the extent to which ‘opt-in’ has been subsequently adopted and/or utilised.
The ‘opt-in’ or ‘consent at registration’ scheme implemented by Bristol University comprises an additional personal information sharing agreement that supplements when information might be shared. It gains consent at annual registration for the university to contact a ’safe and nominated’ parent, guardian or friend in situations that are not emergencies, but where staff have serious concerns that something bad might happen to an enrolled student, and/or where their health, wellbeing or welfare could be affected. Essentially it involves lowering the bar at which parents or nominated others could be contacted by a designated professional at the university, from ‘vital interests’ to ‘serious or significant concerns’. It could for example apply in cases of trauma or distress associated with suspension / expulsion / non-attendance / mental health issues etc.
To qualify as ‘opt-in’ a scheme must be optional and additional to the regular emergency contact protocol. The latter is compulsory and typically restricted to serious incidents and/or emergency situations, that may present an imminent threat to a student’s vital interests. Further particulars can be found at:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/contacting-peop...
https://thetab.com/uk/2018/09/20/these-a...
https://thetab.com/uk/bristol/2019/10/31...
This important scheme has been implemented at a number of universities, and perhaps at your institution as well. If so, please provide me with the following information as absolute numbers and percentages.
For each academic period (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21) and year-of-study (e.g. 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year) sub-division:
• How many students opted-in at registration?
• How many students subsequently rescinded their consent?
• How many times was the opt-in consent used to contact somebody?
• How many times was use of the opt-in consent considered, but with you deliberately choosing not to contact a parent or nominated individual?

Yours faithfully,

Gillian Green

Liz Wake, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Dear Gillian

Thank you for your request. I am not sure that we hold this data but will certainly find out and reply to you within the statutory 20 day period.

Yours sincerely

Liz Wake
College Secretary

Tel: 01223 338202
Peterhouse
Trumpington Street
Cambridge
CB2 1RD

Follow us on:

Registered Charity No. 1137457

show quoted sections

Liz Wake, Peterhouse, Cambridge

3 Attachments

Dear Gillian Green

 

In response to your request of 13 March, I am writing with a partial reply
now, and hope to provide the remainder to you next week.   Our College
Nurse is the only person who would hold this confidential data (if any),
but she works in term-time only.   Your request arrived just before the
end of Lent Term when the nurse and our welfare team were extremely busy
and she has not been available since.

 

I can tell you that we did introduce an ‘opt-in’ question on the student
health questionnaire for the 2020/21 academic year intake.  This was an
addition to our previous statutory protocol for emergencies.  It is
unlikely therefore that we will hold the data you request for 2018-19 or
2019-20.  Neither do I have access to the questionnaire form to see what
information is presented but I will relay this whatever  data there is as
soon as the College Nurse is available.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Liz Wake

College Secretary

 

Tel: 01223 338202

Peterhouse

Trumpington Street

Cambridge

CB2 1RD

 

Follow us on:

 

[1]Twitter[2]cid:image003.jpg@01D2BCF1.7B728A50[3]facebook

 

Registered Charity No. 1137457

 

References

Visible links
1. https://twitter.com/Peterhouse_Cam
2. https://www.instagram.com/peterhouse_cam/
3. https://www.facebook.com/peterhouse.cam

Liz Wake, Peterhouse, Cambridge

4 Attachments

Dear Gillian

 

Further to my partial reply to you of 7 April, I have now been able to
catch up with our college nurse.  She started with us in July last year
and confirms that we do not hold data prior to September 2020.

 

As a direct result of the Bristol initiative, the nurse introduced an
additional consent to her standard Health Questionnaire form issued to all
freshers.  [Screen shot attached]. The only two people who share this
confidential data are our Mental Health Advisor and the College Nurse.
However, in cases of serious mental-health incidents the student would be
asked to complete an additional specific consent.

 

As from 1/9/20

·       152 forms were issued to both u/grad and p/grad freshers of which
139 were returned completed.  However it should be noted that of that
total, 15 p/grad students had previously been u/grads and had already
completed the forms and did not choose to repeat it.

·       0 students didn’t consent/opt in

·       1 student rescinded their consent

·       The number of times the consent was used to contact somebody was
>5

·       The number of times the consent was considered but deliberately
not chosen to contact the nominated individual was 0

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Liz Wake

College Secretary

 

Tel: 01223 338202

Peterhouse

Trumpington Street

Cambridge

CB2 1RD

 

Follow us on:

 

[1]Twitter[2]cid:image003.jpg@01D2BCF1.7B728A50[3]facebook

 

Registered Charity No. 1137457

 

References

Visible links
1. https://twitter.com/Peterhouse_Cam
2. https://www.instagram.com/peterhouse_cam/
3. https://www.facebook.com/peterhouse.cam