Student mental health & well-being

Student mental health and well-being is an ongoing and urgent issue for higher education. In 2006, the UC Student Mental Health Committee presented its Final Report to the UC Regents. The report provided its recommendations in a three-tiered model (Tier 1, Critical Mental Health Services; Tier 2, Targeted Interventions for Vulnerable Groups; Tier 3, Comprehensive Approach to Creating Healthier Learning Communities) which serves as the basis for the University’s comprehensive framework for meeting the fundamental mental health needs of our students and providing for safe and healthy campus environments across the system.

Subsequent to the 2006 report, the University convened the Student Mental Health Oversight Committee, which tracks trends on student mental health issues on all UC campuses; assesses how these trends are managed and the appropriate levels of services provided, and whether campuses have the resources to provide appropriate services.

Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, was passed by California voters in November of 2004 to address mental health issues in the state. The Student Mental Health Initiative was created to expand suicide prevention efforts and mental wellness promotion in the K-12 and higher educational systems. This legislation will provide opportunities for higher education institutions and segments to apply for grant funding to meet student mental health needs. UC faculty and staff are currently working with state agencies to gain funding for all UC campuses.

Visit our system-wide Student Mental Health website to read our strategic plan, locate valuable resources, and view our most promising practices towards addressing the rising demand for mental health services: 

Equity in Mental Health Initiative

The University of California is embarking on an Equity in Mental Health Funding Initiative to ensure campuses develop evidence-based strategies for addressing the escalating behavioral health crisis and to begin to expand from traditional Tier 1 services to addressing equity gaps for our most underserved students. This funding plan includes a holistic student mental health and well-being framework, to foster a culture of well-being and belonging on UC campuses. 

Key documents

Key data dashboards


  1. World Health Organization. (2016). Social determinants of health. 
  2. Okanagan Charter. (2015). International charter for health promoting universities. 
  3. Office of Health Equity. (August 2016). Portrait of Promise: California Statewide Plan to Promote Health Equity and Mental Health Equity. California Department of Public Health. 
  4. A Public Health Framework for Reducing Health Inequities [Chart]. (2015). In BARHII. Retrieved August, 2016
  5. Lavizzo-Mourey, R. (2014). 2014 President’s Message. Retrieved August, 2016
  6. ChangeLab Solutions (Director). (2016, April 5). Collaborative Health – Health in All Policies [Video file]. In YouTube. Retrieved August 24, 2016