Disclosing a mental health difficulty via UCAS
Applying to university or college can be daunting, with many things to consider before applying for that perfect course for you. The process comes with its own set of questions if you experience a mental health difficulty. In this blog, we’ll address questions about disclosure – telling your university about a mental health difficulty.
Who can disclose?
The purpose of disclosure is to ensure students with mental health difficulties can access the support they are entitled to at university or college. For a mental health difficulty to come under the protection of the Equality Act:
• there must be a substantial, adverse impairment to daily activities
• the difficulty should be long term (has lasted, or may last, 12 months)
• the cumulative effects of a mental health difficulty may in combination be ‘substantial’
• difficulties that are episodic are covered if they are likely to reoccur
• a person who has recovered from a mental health difficulty is covered if the difficulty is likely to reoccur
• a person does not need to show that the adverse effects impact on any particular capacity (e.g. memory or concentration)
If you feel you meet these criteria, you may be eligible for additional support, and it is worth considering disclosure. If you are not sure whether you meet the above criteria, disclosing will help you find out more.
Should I disclose?
Disclosure is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer – it’s a case of ensuring your needs are met. We hope that, with the information we provide, you can make an informed decision.
Satisfaction rates among students who disclose are high – the Equality Challenge Unit found that 78% who disclosed said the support they received was ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
We hope this helps you come to a decision regarding disclosure of a mental health difficulty. If you have further questions about disclosing on your application form, get in touch with UCAS.
This blog was written by student mental health charities UMHAN and Student Minds.