Archive September 2019
University data shows long delays, raising fears young people’s mental welfare will decline in the interim.
Students with mental health problems are being forced to wait up to 12 weeks for help from their university, prompting fears that some may take their own lives during the delay. Sir Norman Lamb, the ex-health minister who obtained the data, said such long delays for care for conditions such as anxiety and depression could prove seriously damaging to undergraduates.
Lamb said: “Twelve-week delays to start counselling are scandalous, particularly when we know that so many students are taking their own lives, that’s longer than a university term. Universities with these long waiting times need to remember that students suffering from mental health conditions very often need help as a matter of real urgency. The risk is that their mental welfare will decline even further while they wait and wait for care and support.”
Universities have been heavily criticised for the mental health provision they offer undergraduates, as the number of them seeking help has soared in recent years. Students’ struggles can lead to them dropping out, doing poorly academically or killing themselves. An estimated 95 students in higher education took their own lives in the 12 months to July 2017 in England and Wales.
Reported student mental ill-health has increased fivefold since 2010. Research has found that one in five (22%) students has been diagnosed with a mental ailment and that even more (34%) have struggled with a psychological issue with which they felt they needed professional help.In addition, 45% use drink or drugs to help them cope with problems, 43% worry often or all the time and 9% think about self-harming often or all the time.
Responding to Lamb’s findings, Simon Thompson, CEO of Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster said: “The variance of care for this vulnerable group is worrying. Mental health support and counselling for students should be a priority for all Further Education providers. We are currently working with some of London’s leading FE providers, and know first-hand, the transformative power that successful student counselling services have. We encourage those organisations with long-wait lists and limited outcome data to reconsider their approach urgently.“
Suicide is preventable, not inevitable.
In 2017, in the UK and Ireland alone, over 6,000 people died of suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy.
We know that suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable. But not being okay is still widely stigmatised. We work hard every day to address this and support all those impacted by mental health.
This year, on this day, we are announcing our latest service to support those impacted by suicide. Working in partnership with South West London Health and Care Partnership, we are announcing a dedicated service to support people bereaved by suicide. Our new Post Suicide Liaison Worker will work with a range of local services to better support family members. If you’d like to know more or apply for the role please contact [email protected]
Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster is excited to announce a new partnership with national Mind and Goldman Sachs called ‘Building Mentally Healthy Universities’. We have been chosen to work with the London School of Economics and Political Science to deliver this programme which focuses on building resilience, knowledge and openness around mental health for LSE students and staff. The programme aims to better equip students to manage the impact of university life on their mental health and to transition from university to employment. They will support the existing work at LSE around creating a culture of openness and support around mental health. This exciting new programme helps deliver our aims and ensure that we all have access to the support we need, at the time, and in the place that we need it.
Its exciting time to join Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster. We are developing a new service that will increase and improve emotional and mental health provision within Westminster educational settings for children and young people aged 5-18. We are currently recruiting for 4 key roles. To find out more click on the links below.