student mental health
If you find yourself struggling, I can guarantee you’re not the only person in your year, your halls or probably even your flat feeling that way, Clea Skopeliti writes
Tackling an issue this complex will not be achieved by a single measure - if we work together we stand a better chance of success
The wellbeing and mental health of our one million students must be prioritised. There is no negotiation on this.
It is time to understand. Those who peddle wilfully ignorant mental health stigma will end up in the dustbin of history, with all the other old prejudices. The future belongs to the damned, and if you've made me the damned, well you better watch out.
With almost 600,000 people applying to university last year; a slight increase on the previous year, it would be difficult to argue that the demand for higher education is going to subside anytime soon.
University managers cannot be allowed to pretend this will resolve itself. They cannot continue to award themselves higher salaries than the counselling budgets and claim there is just no money. They cannot continue to pass the buck onto overworked staff. It is time our institutions face up to the mental health crisis.
The extent of mental health problems in UK universities has been laid bare in a new YouGov survey of Britain's students. More than a quarter of students (27%) report having a mental health problem of one type or another. Female students are more likely to say they have mental health problems than males (34% vs 19%), and LGBT students have a particularly high likelihood of mental health problems compared to their heterosexual counterparts (45% vs 22%). For a significant proportion of students who report mental health issues, these problems can make even day-to-day tasks difficult. Nearly half (47%) say that that they have trouble completing some daily tasks and a further 4% say they cannot complete even simple tasks.
Sexting is often the result of peer pressure, the desire to start a relationship or a longing to boost self-esteem. Unrealistic body goals set by glossy magazines and media puts added pressure on to teenagers who seek comfort in the form of likes on their pictures or positive commentary from their friends and strangers alike.
If you asked this question to the group of individuals who are launching their campaign "Hope At Hand", there is. Especially with the lack of continuity of care for students who live in different locations throughout the academic year.
Ultimately, if we cannot look after ourselves, we are unable to look after others. This is not me saying 'don't be an officer' or 'give me a break'. It is an appeal to everyone to take up the issue of mental health as a political priority. To talk, as well as act. The student movement will be stronger if we all put our minds to it.