Recent statistics show that students at the University of Dundee have been accessing mental health services at the institution in increasing numbers. The most recent statistics, from the 2016-17 academic year, saw around 800 students accessing counselling service. With around 15,000 students at the University, this equates to around 5% of students accessing help. The statistics used in this article come courtesy of a Freedom of Information request. Read on for more.
The statistics start as far back as the 2012-13 academic year. In this year, 595 students sought counselling help. By 2014-15, 710 students acquainted themselves with the counselling service, before 708 in 2015-16. As alluded to in the introduction, 813 students sought help in the 2016-17 academic year – with a continuous rise throughout the last few years. It should be noted that this large rise over five academic years has been seen consistently across Universities within the United Kingdom.
It has left many wondering what has caused this nationwide-rise. There are many, many pressures on University students currently. Unprecedented tuition fees, high living costs, uncertainty over the future and the ultra-competitive graduate market are just some of the issues facing students. The impact of social media on the world has also been blamed by many for causing students distress. Such is the problem of mental health at Universities, that many have questioned whether or not institution’s have the required provisions to help those in need.
It appears that the mental health crisis is being taken seriously at the University of Dundee. In feedback forms distributed to users of their counselling service, 40% of respondents stated the counselling had an ‘important’ impact on their work, with 48% stating counselling had improved their overall experience of University. These figures will hopefully rise in the forthcoming years. The average waiting time for an appointment was 5.8 days in the 2016-17 academic year.
Moreover, the University of Dundee hold regular suicide First Aid courses throughout the year for both staff and students. The University also direct people to services such as the Samaritans and Breathing Space. The University certainly appear to be putting many resources into their services for mental health.
Depression and Anxiety account for the vast majority of cases in counselling. This is common throughout Universities. Self-harm, eating disorders and substance abuse were among the other causes of students seeking help. More females than males sought help throughout the five years profiled. It is positive to see many students feeling able to access counselling – with the stigma around mental health seemingly lessening – thankfully. Universities across the United Kingdom need to continue their work in combatting mental illness.
- University of Dundee is ‘Hostile’ Towards Free Speech, Says Study
- The Struggles of Freshers Flu
- What Happened to Silk Road?
- DELL: The Story of a Truly Incredible Company
These are, without doubt, very difficult times to be a student. Yet it is encouraging to see that efforts are being made to help those in need. While in general, provisions for mental health need to be increased, it does appear that positive steps have been taken by many institutions in recent times. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can contact them in the event of a crisis at 116 123.