Statistics concerning the mental health of students at the University of Strathclyde have been released – with the results revealing that almost 500 students sought counselling in the last academic year. With around 21,000 students enrolled at Strathclyde, this equates to around 3% of all students accessing the counselling. As will be discussed further, demand for counselling services at Strathclyde has steadily risen in recent years. The statistics discussed in this article come courtesy of a Freedom of Information request.
In total, 494 students at the University accessed counselling services during the 2016-17 academic year. The highest amount seen was 524 in the 2012-13 academic year. In the subsequent years, the numbers would steadily decrease from 481 (2013-14), to 468 (2014-15) and finishing at 438 (2015-16). The total has since risen, as seen with the above figure of 494. Interestingly, postgraduate students accounted for the highest amount of students accessing counselling. This is unlike the majority of UK institutions.
The main reasons for accessing counselling related to anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression accounted for a staggering 90% of all cases. Self harm, eating disorders and substance abuse were other reasons for seeking counselling. 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 3% of students at the 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.