YOUNG VOICES

Aberdeen University Students Criticise Mental Health Provision

Prompted by the sudden death of a fellow undergrad.

30/03/2016 17:55 | Updated 30 March 2016

The sudden death of a student at Aberdeen University has prompted a powerful demand for better mental health support services.

The Students of Aberdeen group, which emulates social diarists Humans of New York, shared an open letter addressed to the university.

It wrote: "Mental health issues and their very serious consequences cannot be ignored and underfunded anymore."

Law student Emily Drouet was found in halls near to campus earlier this month, the Press and Journal reported.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.

A Students of Aberdeen spokesperson told HuffPost UK that the lack of adequate mental health services was a nationwide problem.

They said: "We would like to give credit to the counselling service and the support services at Aberdeen University for doing a lot with not a lot of resources.

"We realise that this is a nationwide problem and not just an issue at our institution. Something needs to be done."

They said they do not represent the student body in any official capacity.

Mark A Leman via Getty Images
File photo of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, where students are criticising the lack of mental health provision

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn said lecturers and university staff should be doing more to assist students seeking help for mental health problems.

The Labour leader said that all too often young people were being let down by a lack of adequate, easy to access services which maintained discretion on campuses.

Corbyn told a rally at Parliament in January: "Invest the money now, give the young people the support they need, they benefit, we as a society benefit."

A University of Aberdeen spokesperson said: "The wellbeing of our students and staff is of paramount importance to the University of Aberdeen and we are committed to offering the best support possible to all.

"Working closely with the Student Association, the University has a number of student support services in place to help students overcome any issues they may experience during their time at University."

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Aberdeen University said "The wellbeing of our students and staff is of paramount importance to the University of Aberdeen"

They continued: "Including a Counselling Service which offers free, confidential counselling to all members of the University community, and the Aberdeen Students’ Nightline which is run by students for students and provides those who use it with an opportunity to talk anonymously about their concerns and to receive information and support every night during term time."

It said it was subscribed to Big White Wall which provides 24/7 online support for students experiencing mental health concerns.

Additional reporting by Chloe Kerr

Useful helplines and websites:

For confidential support and advice you can also contact the Papyrus charity's helpline on 0800 0684141

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123(UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393

Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk

HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41

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