Theresa May promised a mental health overhaul.
However, these measures largely do not cater to students, who are a high-risk group.
The measures mainly focus on secondary school students, by improving teacher’s education in the area and increasing focus on community care among other initiatives.
Student Minds, the UK student mental health charity, has welcomed these changes with caution.
Rachel Piper a spokesman for the organisation said:
“We would agree mental health currently does not have parity of esteem with physical health, and we hope funding is put in place alongside the promises to rectify this.”
When asked what government could do to further improve student welfare Student Minds pointed us to the University Challenge report, which picks out issues affecting student mental health.
The report recognises because of their age students find themselves at a transition between services and this is further complicated by the fact they are often moving to new areas of the country, Rachel said: “transitions can disrupt a student’s care at a time when they are already particularly vulnerable”.
She continues: “moving between home and university creates a unique set of challenges for maintaining continuity of care”.
The University Challenge report also points to accessibility as an issue.
“Waiting times often mean students’ appointments are at inaccessible times during the holidays and treatment is disrupted by vacations.”
High risk group
Students are at high risk of mental health problems, with 29% of students experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress.
With anxiety and depression being the main problems.
Between 2007 and 2011 the number of students taking their own lives rose by 50%. It is estimated as many as one in eight students feel suicidal while at university.
A further two in three will feel down at some point in their studies.
Why so down?
Possible reasons for this distress could be: “For many young people these are the first years they will spend away from established networks of family support.”
Adjusting to student lifestyle also brings challenges, with an associated poor diet, work pressures, lack of exercise and alcohol consumption often being a factor.
The years spent at university often coincide with the peak age of onset for a range of mental health conditions.
These days a tough job market also adds pressure for high attainment, while many who suffer with mental health problems conversely at ‘considerable risk’ of academic failure and dropping out.
Despite these worrying statistics it is estimated 50% of students don’t feel comfortable admitting they are not coping.
So don’t feel alone, you aren’t, seek support, it is there for you.
Take the advice; everyone wants you healthy and happy.
You can seek a referral to a counselor through your GP, or contact a mental health charity such as Mind or The Samaritans for support.
And Student Minds are also a great portal of support if you go to http://www.studentminds.org.uk/find-support.html.