@RussellGroup Universities top the list for students accessing counselling and mental health support facilities 

One in every 16 University students accessed counselling services in the last academic year, according to new research from Parliament Street, the UK think tank.

The data, which was obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act revealed that 69,625 university students attempted to access counselling services during the academic year 2018/2019. The research found on average around 1 in every 16 students attempted to access counselling services on campus with two universities seeing over 20 per cent of all students enrolled attempting to access support.

Russel Group universities were amongst the highest for the total percentage of students attempting to access counselling services with six appearing in the top 20.

The research found that students were waiting on average 2.5 weeks to access support from referral to treatment. Although, there was huge variation in the waiting times for counselling amongst universities in England. 

The report’s author, Danny Bowman, director, Parliament Street think tank comments:

“This research provides a concerning insight into the number of students struggling at universities across England. It is increasingly worrying to see some of our leading universities in the Russel Group appearing amongst the highest for students seeking counselling support.

"All universities have a moral obligation to make sure all students can access timely, quality and consistent support on campus. Far too often the support is not there meaning students who have reached out for support continue to suffer in silence and the consequences of that can be tragic.”

Derrick Farrell, CEO, Vita Health Group said,

“Offering around the clock counselling services to students should be a top priority for universities, particularly at a time when mental health issues are affecting so many young people.

"The reality is that being away from home and family members in a new environment can have a profound impact on mental well-being. It’s also important to recognise that each individual requires tailored support, whether that be psychological treatments, group meetings or the option of having a friendly chat about the issues affecting them.”

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