Everyone at the University of Bristol is committed to doing all that we can to keep our students safe.
I am aware that many of you in our global community of alumni and friends may have seen the recent media coverage surrounding the tragic death of one of our students, Natasha Abrahart. I realise that this may result in you wondering what Bristol is doing to ensure that our students are supported in all areas of life at university, so that they too may enjoy the Bristol experience that you once had. Please rest assured that we continue to develop and strengthen the support available to all of our students. We have reviewed everything we do in this critical area and introduced a whole-institution approach to mental health and wellbeing with substantially strengthened support for our students in their accommodation, in academic schools and through central support services.
This has enabled us to provide more proactive support for student wellbeing, both for our students during their transition into university and to help create a sense of community and wellbeing during their time with us. Our enhanced teams are also able to provide direct support for students whenever they need it, 24/7, throughout the year.
I hope that this information will be helpful in understanding what we are doing and how we are taking the wellbeing of everyone at Bristol very seriously.
The University’s response to media questions about the death of a student will always be guided by our commitment to respect the dignity of our student and our desire to protect the privacy and wishes of the student’s family and friends, and our university colleagues. We also ensure that any communications we issue prior to and during an inquest comply with the legal processes surrounding it.
With this in mind, I wanted to share with you the sentiments of our Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Judith Squires, and to reassure you that your University continues to make student – and indeed staff – wellbeing a key priority. Judith’s message can be read in full on our main University website.
Stephen O’Connor, Director, Development and Alumni Relations