The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has said that student mental health support is lacking, in a newly released report.

The report shows that ‘a majority of students experience low wellbeing’, with the HEPI stating that depression and loneliness affects one-in-three students, while 1 in 10 students are suggested to have a ‘diagnosable mental illness’.

The survey data from the report shows that many students are ‘less happy and more anxious than the general population, including other young people.’

According to the report, more support is needed for students who suffer from depression and anxiety with there being a rise in student suicides.

‘Universities often underfund their counselling service’

Released last week, the publication was written by Poppy Brown, a third-year Psychology and Philosophy student at the University of Oxford.

Brown said that: ‘Universities often underfund their counselling services and the NHS does not recognise how vulnerable students are.

‘In particular, there is often no consistent care between term-time and holidays. We need to tackle these problems.’

The report suggests that funding for university counselling and support services could lessen the problem. The paper suggests a ‘threefold’ increase in funding for universities that ‘provide the least support’.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute has said that: “Mental disorders are most common in young adults, just at the age when many people become students”

“Going to university can be stressful, especially for first-in-family students.

‘We need to tackle these problems’

He noted further: “Typically, you lose your established support networks, move to a new part of the country and take on large debts.

“Occasionally, it even ends in tragedy.”

Steven Green

Image: Saoirse Alesandro

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