The mental health of third-level students is of major societal concern with the gap between the demand for services and supports offered at crisis level. In Ireland, similar to elsewhere, colleges have responded to this need in vastly differing ways, with student counselling services available to all institutions, and student health departments and sessional psychiatry in some of the larger institutions, with none operating as a single multidisciplinary service. There is an increasing recognition for a more systematised approach, with the establishment of International Networks, Charters and Frameworks. These advocate for a whole institutional approach to student mental health, in addition to the development of an integrated system of supports with effective pathways to appropriate care. This paper, by members of the Youth and Student Special Interest Group of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland, contextualises student mental health currently and describes future directions for this emerging field. It is a call to action to develop a structure that supports the needs of students with mental health problems across the full range of the spectrum from mild to severe.