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University: the time of your life?

May 7th, 2018 | by Phoebe Hurst
University: the time of your life?
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If you Google: ‘mental illness and university students’, you are bombarded with headlines and titles depicting a crisis involving the mental wellbeing of university students. The Guardian ran a series in 2017 titled: ‘Mental Health: a university crisis’, which perhaps suggests that the mental health of society’s young people is heading drastically downhill. I would agree with this as, statistics aside, mental illness is a prevalent and widely discussed topic amongst today’s students.

According to The Independent: ‘suicide rates nearly double among UK university students to reach all-time high.’ Yet, the article also states: ‘university services are ‘overwhelmed’ by the increase.’ Does this not highlight just how critical student mental health has become, and therefore perhaps raises questions as to how well universities are coping and if they are doing enough to help?

Universities are overworked in trying to cater for all students

Superficially, one might argue no; which may not be an unjustified response. However, in order to truly understand if universities are doing enough to help those struggling, we have to turn our attention to how much support the university is able to offer.

With the increase in mental health problems amongst students, it is clear that universities are overworked in trying to cater for all students: waiting lists are long, and in some cases closed, due to the increased demand for support. So should we not be asking why the Government is not doing more to enable universities to support their students? Therefore, perhaps the responsibility for providing care lies not only at the feet of universities, but also at the feet of the Government.

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