Mental Health Services Used by 57% of Students.
The research by the mental health charity across 80 universities found that 57% of students have used mental health services provided by their university.
Nearly half of the 7,200 students surveyed said their mental health difficulties hurt their university experience. The research also revealed that only 4% of staff had received “adequate training” on dealing with and supporting students with issues.
Support for mental health should be given “just as much value” as academic results, says River Hawkins, founder of Humen. Hawkins adds that universities need to make “immediate improvements” so students can get the care they need.
Of those who did not use the services, 41% said it was because they were unaware of them.
River Hawkins, the founder of Humen, said: “The report’s findings show that there is still a long way to go in improving mental health provision and support in UK universities.”
The research also found that nearly half of students (48%) felt that their mental health difficulties hurt their university experience.
Hawkins added: “It is vital that universities provide adequate training for staff so that they can support students” and that “while it is encouraging to see several universities performing well in Humen’s university mental health league table, all universities need to make immediate improvements.”
During the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Banister said he felt his mental health issues “definitely made me do less stuff” at university. The 19-year-old physics student from the University of Edinburgh suffered from anxiety and told Radio 1 Newsbeat that Covid “overloaded my brain completely in a weird way”. He feels that universities need better support for students’ mental health, so they don’t have to suffer in silence.
Regarding his mental health, Daniel went t see a doctor regarding his condition and discovered that his symptoms were due to anxiety. He has been prescribed medication and attended weekly cognitive behavioural therapy sessions (CBT).
“The doctors showed me that there’s a very tiny chance that something else was wrong with my eye.
“There’s a higher chance that I was thinking about it and almost making it true.”
Daniel says the help he received outside of university was more helpful than what his university offered.
“I think their initial response was quite good,” he said of his university. “They sent out some emails saying, ‘if you’re struggling, here are some people you can talk to’.
“But often, it would be a few days later, and my parents had helped me more by then.”
The research by Humen found that only 4% of staff had received “adequate training” on dealing with and supporting students with issues. This needs to be improved so students can get the care and support they need. Hawkins added: “It is vital that universities provide adequate training for staff to support students.”
Universities need to make “immediate improvements” so students can get the care they need, says River Hawkins, founder of Humen. Based on the research by Humen and Daniel Banister, it is evident that mental health should be given more attention in UK universities. Students should not suffer in silence because of inadequate support or awareness.
The charity has called for universities to do more to support students’ mental health, including better training for staff and improved awareness of services.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, resources are available. For more information and support, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website.
You can contact your university’s student support services or check out the websites below for more information:
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