Do counselling services at university need a dramatic overhaul?

Layla Haidrani –

Are counselling services providing enough support to students feeling overwhelmed at university? With social networking sites all encouraging us to post the positive elements of our lives, the widespread expectation that we should all be living a hedonistic lifestyle means that those students who do feel low or depressed can often resort to coping with their problems by themselves.

Worries about gradate employment, academic performance and social pressures are rarely discussed in the university sphere yet you would be hard pressed to find a person who isn’t concerned about these issues.

While mental health services are offered at university, students aren’t being as supported as they need to be. Findings from the NUS’ Mental Distress Survey Overview in 2013 revealed that a mere 10 per cent of students took up counselling services provided by their institution, while 12 per cent stated that they did not know where to seek support. It’s little wonder that so many students report difficulties with their mental health.

This is why mental health services at university, particularly the counselling services, need a dramatic overhaul. As additional findings from the study revealed that 26 per cent of students did not tell anyone about their feelings of mental distress, it is essential that universities implement a strategy to ensure that vulnerable students at university are supported.

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