Universities are progressing in mental health awareness

As a society, we are becoming more and more aware of mental health disorders and their impact every single day. These days you’ll be hard pushed to go online without seeing some sort of campaign, informative post, or news article about mental health.

As a Hull University student and anxiety sufferer myself, mental health has recently come into focus in the local news and around my University due to Hull’s brand new £7.8m mental health unit, specifically for young people, being given the go-ahead.

Mental health is even said to have become a “University Crisis”. The tricky thing about mental health disorders is that often, a person does not “appear” sick, and this is where the illnesses can be misunderstood, or even not taken as serious as physical disabilities. But in reality, mental health disorders impact student lives in a very serious way, and Universities need to ensure that sufferers have enough support.

But why are students often particularly affected?

It just so happens that University is at the time in a young person’s life – as they transition from a teen to a young adult – that can be very stressful and difficult. Not only this, but most students have student debt, financial worries, and course stresses to worry about, along with the pressure of living alone for the first time and the desire to “fit in”. The 2017 “Annual Student Experience Survey” reported that a whopping 87% of students find it difficult to cope with the social and academic aspects of University life.

Thankfully, mental health is finally being made a priority by Universities. The campaign #stepchange is working to place mental health as a strategic priority in higher education, some have even suggested that universities coordinate with the NHS. They have a case for action that includes four main reasons that mental health should be a priority in Unis.

Everywhere you look there seems to be another progressive step towards mental health awareness and better mental health facilities, particularly for students. It has been a long time coming, but it is refreshing to see finally. Although we have a way still to go, things seem to be going in the right direction.

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