Statistics concerning the mental health of students at the University of Lincoln have been released – with the results indicating an enormous rise in the number of students who are suffering from mental health problems. While this is of grave concern, these results do give the impression that the stigma around mental health is disappearing – which is at least one positive. Staff numbers have also risen at the University in light of the huge increase in demand for counselling. Read on for more information and statistics.
The University released the information used in this article through a Freedom of Information request. Unbelievably, in a five year period, demand for counselling rocketed 800%. In the 2013-14 academic year, just 28 students sought help. Yet by the 2017-18 year, up until the end of February, 1,572 students requested help. This number is likely to rise further, with many weeks still remaining in this academic year. The 2016-17 year witnessed the biggest surge, rising from the 2015-16 total of 416 to 1,082.
There was no in-depth information regarding the budget being provided for mental health provisions. However, the University did reveal that the number of counsellors employed rose from three to five between 2014 and 2018. This suggests the budget has been increasingly rising. It is likely that staff numbers will continue to rise, if this upward demand trend continues. It is hopeful that staff numbers will increase, and that student well-being is treated as a priority by the University.
The huge rise in demand seen here at Lincoln isn’t purely limited to the institution – 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. These revelations give credence to the idea that a mental health crisis is developing.
These revelations can however 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, there is certainly help out there for those who need help.
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These are certainly tough times 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.