Student Well Being - Is your university facing up to the issue?

What is very apparent into days society is the rise in mental health issues in young people.  Bearing in mind that a growing number of students are suffering from mental health issues, should universities be ensuring that students with mental health concerns  have access to information on mental health services on campus prior to applying?  

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A report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, using anonymised data, found a rapid increase in demand for counselling, with one institution seeing an annual increase of more than 50%.  This analysis, published before the new term, showed mental health problems on campus had "increased dramatically" in recent years, rising from about 8,000 to 18,000 in the four years to 2012-13.  The study also warned students want help with more serious problems. Instead of homesickness or relationships, they are increasingly suffering from "anxiety, depression or low mood. Additionally, increasing numbers of students are at high risk of harming themselves”.

Recently a Higher education college tutor stated he had lost count of the number of students at his college on anti depressants.  It seems that the for generation Y  access to information, huge amount of choice, fast moving technology and parental expectations can cause overload for some students.

The question is which universities are bold enough to be proactive in offering this information to potential students? Has mental health in young people risen far enough for it to become essential information to enable students to make an informed choice about which university they go to? Are some universities not making the information on mental health issues accessible to avoid these students? Should are universities not be leading the way in providing support to enable all students wellbeing?

 

Joanna Turner

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