By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
Students with mental health problems are being forced to wait up to 12 weeks for help from their university facilities, which could lead to many students engage in harmful behaviour and suffer severe health problems.
Some students have reported having to wait up to 84 days to receive any kind of mental health counselling or treatment from the date of their request, figures collected by British universities show.
Sir Norman Lamb, the ex-health secretary leading the study, has spoken out on the detrimental effect of poor mental health facilities at UK universities.
Yet despite the evident need for improved mental health facilities, one in four universities have cut or frozen their budgets for student mental health.
This comes at a time when students are exhibiting more signs of mental health problems; a staggering 29% of 18-24 year olds find simple everyday functions more difficult than they used to, while 32% of 18-24 year olds regularly cancel plans with friends to avoid social interactions, according to mental health treatment specialists, Smart TMS.
Gerard Barnes, CEO of Smart TMS, offers the following commentary on the state of mental health amongst students and 18-24 year olds:
“The research indicates that many 18-24 year olds are reporting an increase in a desire to be away from other people and social situations, and struggle to complete simple everyday tasks. These are clear signs of depression and anxiety, which are often characterised by low self-esteem, an increase in substance abuse and a loss of the ability to carry out simple functions without overthinking.
At Smart TMS, we recognise that many young people have difficulty accessing treatment or counselling, which are essential to help people cope with their mental health. More needs to be done to help young people access care, particularly students who are dealing with constant pressure and an intense environment.”