Friday, 9 December 2016

The benefits of disclosing a mental health difficulty

Students with mental health difficulties can disclose this on their UCAS application to ensure they can access the support they are entitled to. What are the benefits of disclosure? UMHAN and Student Minds answer these questions in this short blog.

When submitting your UCAS application, you have the opportunity to disclose a mental health difficulty. In the section marked ‘Disability/Special Needs’, you can select the option ‘mental health condition’.

You can then enter any particular needs related to your mental health difficulty. This information is passed on to the course providers you have applied to as part of your application, so they can begin to think about what support to provide for you.

So, should you disclose? What will happen if you do? And what are the benefits?

If you disclose, your course provider is legally required to make reasonable adjustments which take account of your needs.

On starting your course, you will have the opportunity to talk to your course provider’s student support services. You may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) – this can provide a wide range of support, from specialist equipment to a mentor, depending on what is agreed to suit your needs. If you do not receive DSA, your course provider may provide alternative support.

Here, a student talks about the support she received after she disclosed:

‘I went to see the Mental Health Adviser at my university, who gave me support and a feeling of reassurance that I wouldn't be facing my depressive episode alone. She advised me to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance, something I wouldn't have thought to do otherwise. DSA funded me to have a mental health mentor who I see weekly. He knows me so well that he can spot any signs I'm struggling before even I can. Both have also advocated for me in my journey through the NHS mental health system. The holistic nature of the support given by mental health advisers and mentors has literally been a lifeline for me and I'm incredibly grateful.’

We hope this blog helps you come to a decision regarding disclosure. 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.

No comments: