Findings of one of the largest student mental health surveys ever undertaken in the world – which was initiated by Universities South Africa (USAf) and launched in April 2020 – were unpacked during a recent Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) Engage webinar, which focused on mental health at South Africa’s universities.

Funded by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), this national project was endorsed by vice-chancellors and deans of students at a number of universities. The study forms part of the World Health Organisation’s World Mental Health International College Student Initiative, an international network of experts working to promote the mental health of university students across the globe.

HELM Engage is an online platform hosted and managed by Universities South Africa’s Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) programme – a capacity development facility focusing on middle to senior / executive leadership of public universities. The webinar on students’ mental health was the sixth in a series started in 2021 to facilitate high level inputs and discussions on topical leadership and management issues affecting South Africa’s higher education.