Statistics concerning the mental health of students at Anglia Ruskin University have been released – with the results revealing that almost 1,400 students sought counselling in the last academic year. With around 21,000 students enrolled at Anglia Ruskin, this equates to around 6% of all students accessing the counselling. As will be discussed further, demand for counselling services at Anglia Ruskin has risen enormously in recent years. The statistics discussed in this article come courtesy of a Freedom of Information request.
In total, 1,368 students at the University accessed counselling services during the 2016-17 academic year. This was a record high for the University, and signalled a staggering 151% increase in counselling requests since the 2010/11 academic year. There was a strong leap between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic year’s, with the before-mentioned 1,368 rising from 1,291. Going back to 2010-11, 544 students requested counselling – the rise since then is enormous. These results are very concerning.
While the specific causes for accessing counselling services weren’t disclosed, generally, Anxiety and depression are the main causes of seeking help. Self-harm, eating disorders and substance abuse are often just some of the 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.
88% of users of the counselling service indicated they were satisfied with the help they received from the service. However 12% is still a large amount – representing the amount of people who weren’t satisfied with the service. It was revealed that one of the main reasons for discontent with the service was its short-term nature – with only six appointments the maximum allowance for any student. However, the online ‘Silver Cloud Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ platform was praised.
The figures suggest around 6% of students at the University have accessed counselling. This is a slightly higher level when compared to some 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.