Are universities doing enough to battle the mental health crisis?
With NHS mental health services not being able to deal with the demands of the student population, many students are left to fend for themselves. But are universities offering enough support for students?
More than half of those who leave school, choose higher education and attend universities across the UK. Considering the amount of people who therefore attend university, the mental health of these students should be a priority to both the universities and the government. Although statistics have shown the dramatic increase in students seeking well-being support at their universities, the needs of these students are not always met.
There are many reasons as to why this is happening across the country. Some students need specialist advice in some situations, however, this is not always as easy as it seems for universities to provide. The NHS is not always able to deal with the growing demand of mental health cases amongst students. Delays in treatment strategies can leave students without the appropriate support, which in the long term can have dramatic impacts on their learning.
Kings College London, has started a new programme called “My Mind Matters Too” which is a non-profit organisation, run by 5 students from King’s College London. One student, Dilyara Jaxalykova said “there is a lot of pressure on students because of the standard of work that is expected from everyone” and “that’s why this programme is so important”.
Due to the current mental health crisis that universities are facing, the government has considered grading them on their ability to improve mental health and wellbeing amongst students. Those universities who manage to succeed in making student mental health and wellbeing a priority will be rewarded. Student minds, of which is the UK’s student mental health charity, will work alongside UPP Foundation, the Office for students, The National Union of Students and Universities UK.
Nicola Dandridge, who has been chosen by the government to act as a watchdog has stated “student mental health must be tackled as a top priority”. However, she emphasises the fact that it is not solely the responsibility of the university.