Student mental health: a new model for universities

stressed studentGoing to university is never easy. It’s one of the greatest leaps of faith anyone ever makes, and it comes at a vulnerable time in an individual’s psychological development. It is difficult, and for some it can be life-threatening. A recent survey found that 78% of students reported having had a mental health problem over the past year, and 33% had had suicidal thoughts.

Those who are unable to cope may drop out. Left unrecognised and untreated, their problems may become more severe. They may start to self-medicate with drink or drugs, self-harm, or even take their own lives.

It is hard to calculate how many students die this way each year. There are difficulties in recording and reporting this information – many may already have dropped out by the time they choose to take their own lives, and in some cases, the coroner doesn’t record student status (which is a national anomaly that should be addressed).

The Office for National Statistics says that 112 full-time students took their lives in 2012 (the most recent data available). When this happens, the impact on friends, peers, family and the wider university community is devastating. But there are a number of sensible changes that could prevent student suicide.

PhD students have been known to suffer with depression, sleep issues, eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide. Mental health in academia is an issue that needs to be addressed. To read more click here.

The 17th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, QLD from the 11 -12 August 2016.

You are invited to join us as we address the conference theme “Guiding the Change” across the broad spectrum of mental disorders. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

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