Suicide is at record level among students at UK universities, study finds

The Guardian provides coverage of a study by the IPPR think tank which reveals the scale of the mental health crisis in UK universities. Figures show a fivefold rise in students reporting mental health problems in the last decade, and a record number of people taking their own lives. Experts suggest the rise is due in part to growing pressure on young people, as well as an increase in awareness and self-reporting of problems. 

The survey of 58 higher education institutions also showed that 94% of them had experienced an increased demand for services, and that the proportion of students seeking support through counselling services was as high as 26% at some institutions. 

Craig Thorley, an IPPR senior research fellow, said:  “Universities must be ready to support these students, including, where appropriate, through referral into specialist care. But the extent of support is currently too varied, and many university services are overwhelmed by the level of demand.” 

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, echoed these calls, saying that some vice-chancellors still think mental health “is not the business of universities… but developing minds means nothing unless you also help people learn how to become settled down and ready to learn.”

The report is calling for the Department of Health to create a new NHS Student Health Fund, which will be used to develop integrated care between health and education providers for students.

The full story can be read on the Guardian website