Statistics regarding the mental health of students at Brunel University have been released – with the results showing that almost 2,000 students accessed counselling in a recent academic year. While this number is worrying, it does give the impression that the stigma around mental health is disappearing – which is at least one positive. The budget for mental health services has also risen considerably at the University in response to the marked increase in demand for counselling. Read on for further information and statistics.
The University released the information used in this article through a Freedom of Information request. In the 2015-16 academic year, 1,708 students sought counselling. With around 14,000 students at the University, this equates to around 13% of students at the University having sought counselling – a worrying amount. Unfortunately, the institution didn’t provide any more recent information. However, we can surmise the number has been rising, as just 1,151 students accessed the service in 2013-14.
As mentioned earlier, the budget for mental health services at the University has risen significantly. In the 2013-14 academic year, it was set at £439,748.30. This rose to £465,196.200 for the 2015-16 academic year. Waiting times were on average 2.4 days in the 2013-14 academic year, and so far in the 2017-18 academic year, waiting times have been at an impressive 1.5 days. This is a much shorter wait than that of several other Universities in the United Kingdom – which is a positive result for Brunel.
The huge rise in demand seen here at Brunel University 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.