Statistics concerning the mental health of students at Goldsmiths University have been released – with the results revealing that almost 600 students sought counselling in the last academic year. With around 9,000 students enrolled at Goldsmiths, this equates to around 8% of all students accessing the counselling. As will be discussed further, demand for counselling services at Goldsmiths has steadily risen in recent years. The statistics discussed in this article come courtesy of a Freedom of Information request.
In total, 586 students at Goldsmiths University accessed counselling services, with 1,637 students in total accessing the wider wellbeing service. We will be focusing on the counselling – which is where predominantly those suffering with mental health concerns will end up. 584 students accessed counselling in the 2012-13 academic year, with the highest number coming in 2013-14, with 687 students seeking help. As mentioned, the 2016-17 academic year witnessed 586 students using the service.
The budget for counselling has risen hugely in recent years. In the 2012-13 academic year, the budget was £345,086. By 2016-17, expenditure had risen to £613,438 – showing a marked increase. With demand likely to rise, we expect this budget to as well. As for waiting times, students on average waited approximately 19 days, though high-risk students were prioritised and given quicker appointments. The University assured that 24/7 support was available for anyone that required help.
The University employs several counsellors, disability staff and counsellors to help with the demand. Yet the exponential rise in demand isn’t something purely limited to Goldsmiths – with other Universities reporting similar statistics. These are difficult times to be a student – with uncertainty over the future, higher tuition fees than ever before and with the job market being at an unprecedented level of competitiveness. There is a pressure like never before on students to succeed – which can lead to these mental health problems developing or aggravating.
The figures suggest around 8% of students at Goldsmiths University have accessed counselling. This is a similar level to many other Universities. These revelations can be seen in a positive light – such as that it appears the stigma around mental health is disappearing – leading to more people to request help. The only concern is that many students suffer in silence. Not every student suffering from ill health uses counselling services – which should be remembered when considering these statistics. Those in need are encouraged to actively seek help.
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This is certainly a tough time to be a student. However it is encouraging to see that more people are coming forward with their mental health concerns – and that the stigma finally appears to be going away. While Universities all around the United Kingdom need to improve their current provisions for mental health, it appears that some positive steps have been taken in recent months in the battle against mental health problems. Hopefully this trend will continue. Remember you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 – should you ever need.