Record Mental Health Problems Related University Dropouts

UK: Mental health related university dropouts have increased by 210 percent in a span of five years, according to a recent study.

Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) showed that a record 1,180 students who suffered with mental health problems had left university early in 2014-15, a increase from 380 in 2009-10.

Norman Lamb, a former health minister, said there was “a crisis on campus with respect to students’ mental health. Counselling provision should be a priority so that all students can access effective support for problems like anxiety, but we know that these services are too often underfunded.”

Data obtained by the Guardian showed show that 87,914 students requested counselling in 2015-16, compared with 68,614 in 2013-14, a rise of 28%.

Heads of counselling services put the increase partly down to more students going to university with existing mental health problems. They said young people were under greater pressure to succeed, with social media putting their lives under a microscope.

Some attributed the rise in students dropping out to a greater awareness of mental health problem in the society.

Dr Faraz Mughal, a clinical fellow for mental health for the Royal College of GPs, said whatever the reason for more students using university services it was important they felt supported. “Young people are our next generation of adults, so whether they choose to attend further education or not, it’s important that we take their mental health seriously. Across society, we desperately need more mental health services for children and young people in the community, and for GPs to have better access to them.”


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