As the “Mental Health Day” date is fast approaching students in the UK are facing an important mental health crisis.
Six times more children and young people in England have mental health conditions than a generation ago, research has revealed according to The Guardian. A growing crisis that sees around 95 students a year commits suicide or in other words one every four days.
Studies show various reasons for this alarming increase in mental health issues amongst young people that goes from the effects of an uncertain job market, personal debt, lack of sleep caused by electronic devices or the lack of money due to the important fees they pay.
Most of the universities are struggling to give a correct answer to these issues.
Andrea, a European student at King’s College London told me “The waiting list for counseling is such a pain. When we need help we need it quickly not in the next months, especially when you are an international student like me, far from home and have no adult to help you.”
As an answer to these critics, Like other universities, Brunel University is struggling to deal with increasing mental health problems among students, and in the last few years it has been forced to rethink its mental health provisions, making it easier to access counseling and mentoring, and training lecturers and other staff in mental health first aid to avoid incidents.
Incidents like the one that happened in Goldsmith’s University in 2017 where a student had to wait months in vain for an in-depth appointment after been sectioned for 24 hours after a suicide attempt in July and only weeks after moving into halls at London’s Goldsmiths University, she sadly took her own life.
Over the last years, many universities have taken steps to reduce waiting time for counseling, launching courses on managing stress and anxiety, which has made support services easier to access, and tried to make students more aware of what is available.
But the reality is that a massive number of students are not even aware of the existence of these services, find it hard to talk about their mental health or find it difficult to reach out.
As a result of all of this, dropout rates have increased every year since 2015.