New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal the extent of the mental health challenge amongst university students, with 95 suicides recorded in the year to July 2017.
The statistics come amidst growing calls for universities to do more to improve mental health services for their students, with recent evidence suggesting the number of students dropping out of university with mental health problems has trebled in the past decade. Universities UK recently called for urgent action to improve the coordination of care between universities and the NHS, highlighting the need for health information to travel with students and for university mental health services to acknowledge and better support the challenges facing students.
Evidence shows that young people with mental health problems are more likely to experience educational difficulties, eating disorders and self-harm. With three-quarters of all mental illness developing by the age of 24 years and with almost half of all school leavers now going on to university, higher education institutions have an essential role to play in safeguarding young people. It’s clear that addressing mental ill-health in university students is essential if we are to improve the well-being of our young people and give them every opportunity to fulfil their potential.