University students Mental Health in the UK has always been a huge issue, young people are leaving home, often drinking excessively, struggling with the jump in education and being away from close friends and family support.
The largest mental health survey ever conducted on UK university students, found that almost 1 in 10 (9.4%) think about self-harming often or all the time.
The support for students still isn’t there, with lengthy waitlists and tricky criteria meaning you can’t have mitigating circumstances without a mental health disorder diagnosis. Often students struggling with their mental health don’t have the capacity or energy to find help.
“When I was struggling with a bereavement at University, I was offered little to no support at all emotionally or academically. I felt ashamed to ask for help, I felt completely lost and alone. It’s disappointing knowing that this hasn’t changed much in 5 years. I’m so grateful that due to our digital offer we can continue to support our young people at university.” – Annie, Youth Worker at Wish
The rates of self harm have further increased during the pandemic due to isolation, bereavement, anxiety, stress, conflict at home.
University students have missed out on socialising, confined to their rooms, lived alone in empty halls accommodation and struggled to keep up with digital teaching.
We spoke to a Young Person at Wish about her experience at University:
“I think I under- estimated how big of an impact Covid would have on my uni experience, its affected a lot of my social life, I’ve been anxious to speak to people and meet up so it’s been hard to make friends on my course also cos face to face learning stopped.
I got too anxious about Covid and exposing myself to it so I moved from accommodation back home.
To take care of my mental health while studying, I make sure to set manageable tasks within the week using a planner, I make sure I’ve looked at the course content before my lectures so I understand what we’ll be covering and so I don’t feel lost cos that stresses me out.
I make sure that Friday evenings and the weekend is for me to unwind and relax, I don’t do any uni work then. I write my lessons in my planner for the following week and plan what days I’ll go over what content.
My Uni friends are very understanding of my mental health issues, I can turn to them if I feel low or anxious and we play games together or chat or call.
I also have therapy at wish every week and fits in nicely with my routine as I don’t really have lectures on that day. Therapy is good cos I use the therapy to talk about difficult things I’ve been through and during therapy and group if something has happened or I’ve got something to get off my chest both those places area safe space for that.”
We want to see better support for young people at University. We want mental health to be a priority for students in the UK.
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