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Demand for Student Mental Health Services skyrockets

Monday 02-07-2018 - 16:04

NUS Scotland has released figures showing the worrying rise in the number of students trying to access mental health services, and calling for proper investment in mental health services for Scotland’s students.

 

Group of students queuing outdoors

The figures released today, obtained by freedom of information requests to Scotland’s colleges and universities, show:
·         A 76% rise in students trying to access counselling services, with only 60% of those students going on to receive support last year.
·         Over the same time, the number of full time counsellors in universities and colleges has risen from 24 to 30, and the number of part time counsellors from 60 to 103.
·         College students are less likely to have access to support than their university counterparts, with only 11 of 24 colleges stating they have dedicated on-campus counselling services, compared to 16 of 18 universities.

NUS Scotland has reiterated the need for increased government investment in student mental health services, to help them meet this growing demand.

Commenting, NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe said:

“These figures show the scale of the mental health crisis on our campuses. Across Scotland, universities and colleges are seeing demand for counselling skyrocket, while existing services are increasingly strained.

“University students are subject to a postcode lottery - with provision, and waiting times, varying from university to university. Worse still, half of Scotland’s colleges have no dedicated counselling provision for their students.  

“While everyone can experience mental ill-health, student life comes with huge pressures – from balancing study with part-time work, to finding a new home from term to term, or a career come graduation time. While it’s vital to tackle the causes of these pressures, it’s also crucial that counselling services are in place to help those students whose mental health is affected.

“We know that when students are able to access services on their campus, they report high satisfaction rates, and the services are often crucial in supporting students with mental ill-health to access, remain, and succeed in education.

“The Scottish Government has taken positive initial steps to improve mental health services at our colleges and universities. With demand increasing and resources stretched more and more, we need to see meaningful investment to ensure that every student - no matter where they study - has access to they support services they need.”

The full figures obtained are as follows:

 

The number of students seeking support at the 15 universities and colleges holding data necessary for a 5 year comparison:

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

4935

5640

6491

8122

8667

Change:

75.62

     

The number of students going on to receive support at the same 15 institutions:

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15*

2015/16*

2016/17

3404

3722

3208

3771

5205

Change:

52.91

     

*One institution did not hold data for 2014/15 and 2015/16

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NUS Scotland

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