Students feel neglected over mental health

An independent survey of Cardiff students has found that of the 150 participants, 59 per cent have suffered from a diagnosable mental health condition.

The study was conducted by Cardiff based campaign Mental Youth, established by first year students George Watkins.

Other surprising results of the survey revealed that 72 per cent feel mental health is not supported enough at university, despite the fact 77 per cent have used university counselling services.

Earlier this year Gair Rhydd revealed that some students felt Cardiff University’s Student Support Centre, which offers “counselling, health and wellbeing services”, was “overwhelmed”.

One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, was effected by the strain facing the centre and described to her experience with Gair Rhydd:

“I have suffered badly with anxiety and depression…I have just re-enrolled and have an appointment coming up. There is a real problem with the amount of time it takes to access support and help. I have to say once accessed the help is really good”.

A University spokesperson, however, explained that they “are not there to replace NHS provision for long term mental health conditions which might take a lot longer to resolve”.

They also explained that there has been an increase in demand for services at Student Support but that the University has continued to “innovate” to cope with the pressure. This has included introducing a wide range of alternative methods of receiving help both online and in person.

However, the Mental Youth survey would suggest that some students still think the University could do more although this may not necessarily just be to do with the service that they provide however. The survey found that over half of participants had experienced stigma or abuse as a result mental health or had witnessed others experience it.

Another particularly worrying result of the survey revealed that 59 per cent had experienced suicidal thoughts and 51 per cent have self-harmed in the past.

This survey highlighted the importance of University support as over half of the participants have had to miss university due to their mental health.

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