New research has uncovered that students are being forced to wait nearly two months to speak to an on-campus mental health specialist after first raising the issue to their universities. What’s more, two fifths (41%) of students who have struggled with issues relating to mental health have considered dropping off their course altogether.

One third of students who have had to wait to see a mental health professional have ended up cancelling their appointment due to the length of time or anxiety associated with the wait.

The team at student discount platform conducted a survey to highlight how important it is to look after students’ mental health and as part of their activity surrounding Mental Health Awareness Week. The study polled over 2,000 UK-based university students on their experiences with mental health at university.


Initially all of those taking part in the study were asked if they had ever struggled with their own mental health concerns, to which more than 8 in 10 (83%) stated they had.


When asked if they had ever tried to book an on-campus appointment with a university councillor/doctor to talk through mental health issues, 68% of respondents said they had.


Relevant participants were asked how long they had to wait for these appointments, with it being found that the average wait time was almost two months (52 days).


It was also uncovered that one third of these participants (33%) had actually cancelled their appointment. When asked why, 52% blamed the long wait and 39% said that they got too anxious to attend.


Of all relevant respondents, two fifths (41%) admitted that they have been tempted to drop out  of their university course due to issues associated with their mental wellbeing.


Finally, when asked who else, if anyone, students have confided in about their mental health problems, just under half (48%) said that they confided in fellow students, and 1 in 10 (10%) had spoken to family about it. However, 40% stated that they had not spoken to anyone about their issues.


The Student Beans team have put together some tips for those who are currently struggling with their mental health and may be too anxious to speak to someone about this, or if they are waiting for an appointment on-campus:


  1. Take up meditation - Meditation isn’t for everyone but it can be incredibly beneficial for those who struggle to stay in the moment and are incredibly anxious about future scenarios. Give an app like Headspace a go; most of the meditation exercises only take around 10 minutes and you could see a drastic difference in how you approach life.
  2. Switch off digitally - Looking at your social media channels at every free moment you find throughout the day can be incredibly draining and have a negative impact on your mental health. Although the idea of not checking your phone or social media for prolonged periods of times might be extremely daunting, giving yourself a break from comparing your profiles and likes to others will have positive effects in the long run, and even give you a chance to catch-up with your real-life friends and make plans with the people that REALLY matter to you!
  3. Avoid alcohol and drugs - Although drowning your sorrows may seem like a good idea initially, alcohol (and drugs) can be incredibly damaging to your mental health long-term. If you find yourself feeling really low, do avoid drinking to excess (or drinking at all!) and instead hang out with your friends sober. You’ll find the experience far more rewarding.
  4. Exercise - Exercise is a great way to make you feel better with yourself as it releases endorphins. If you aren’t keen on going to the gym or doing a high-intensity run, a power-walk around your local park can be great way to get your heartbeat up whilst also allowing you to appreciate nature.
  5. Read more - Reading may seem quite unappealing when you’re at university, as you already have to do so much of it for your degree. However there are some amazing books out there about mental health that can really make a difference. If you believe you suffer with anxiety or depression, try researching what books have worked for other people with similar mental health concerns. These books can be a great way to keep you happy with yourself until you are able to speak to someone or until you are comfortable to do so.

Michael Eder, Founder of Student Beans said:

“It’s normal to have down days at university, but when it takes over your life completely and you find yourself losing motivation, then it’s time to put yourself first. Whether it’s taking small walks or meditating a few times week, ensure you are making time for yourself. The stress of university can take a huge toll on a young person’s mental health; we need to encourage them to be open about their struggles and let them know they are not alone.”

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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