Step Up: University is a four-year (2018-2022) coproduction project funded by The City Bridge Trust and run by Rethink Mental Illness. The project aims to improve university student mental health across the City of London.

We are working with Universities, Students’ Unions and Student Groups to create and deliver workshops by students, for students. These workshops cover topics from exam stress to LGBTQ+ mental health, to looking after your mental health as an international student. We combine proven cognitive behavioural therapy techniques with lived student experience to create workshops that matter.

What is Step Up at UCL?

Step Up: University trains UCL students to run co-produced workshops for their peers on mental health and wellbeing. Our mission is to promote the wellbeing and mental health of university students across London, as it is well documented that young people studying at university have lower levels of wellbeing than the general population, which can often lead to an increased demand for overstretched welfare services and in some cases, for students to drop out of university due to mental health crises.

The essence of this project is that of empowerment. We want to enable young people to utilise insights from their own lived experiences of mental health difficulties, whilst using an intersectional lens to appreciate mental health inequalities across different communities and groups. Overall, Step Up builds on young people’s strengths to help them deal with issues that could cause a mental health crisis. Step Up also helps young people learn how to help others who might have similar experiences.

About the workshops:

New workshops will be scheduled for next year - watch this space!

We offer 90 minute discussion-based workshops, where trained student facilitators can guide their peers through conversations in a welcoming environment. Every workshop will provide opportunity to connect over shared experiences, and learn some new techniques for coping on a daily basis. The content for each workshop has been designed by UCL students, and include:

  • Coping during the pandemic
  • Self Care
  • I’m Moody & I Know It (Low Mood)
  • My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open (Balancing life priorities)
  • You’ve Got a Friend In Me (Supporting others while looking after yourself)

We focus on one topic a month, in a combination of on campus & online sessions.

We can also offer bespoke versions of these workshops for societies and sports teams. For anyone interested in this, please email Rebecca & Charlotte at stepup@rethink.org.