Table of contents
- Mental Disorders Among British Students Statistics
- The Types of Mental Health Problems Among College Students
- Tips for College Students: Where to Get Help
- Resources For Students with Mental Health Problems
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) in the UK
When the subject of mental health among college students is brought up in the media, it rarely deals with the list of resources or any helpful information except the general talk about stress and post-traumatic disorders. The reason for that is failing to link the mental problems with the excessive amounts of academic material and a different way of life that always comes along with college. The crucial point here is to understand that professional help is available and can be accessed immediately. When an average student goes through the turbulent times, it should not be equal to stopping with one’s studies or missing the important deadlines. On the contrary, knowing that you can continue often serves as the primary aspect that helps one to recover.
Mental Disorders Among British Students Statistics
Considering the fivefold increase in mental issues health since 2010 among the British students, these alarming statistics have been the subject of numerous reports. The poor mental state is often linked to excessive stress and a lack of proper instruction through an average college course. Turning to surveys, one can see that 21.5% of the UK students had a current mental disorder diagnosis, while 33.9% has been through a serious psychological aspect that required professional assistance. Nevertheless, most statistical information does not represent the other mental illness issues like stress from moving away from home, financial burdens, or being unable to adapt to living on campus in specific conditions. It makes measuring the real scope of mental issues much more challenging, which is why the presence of various resources that can be accessed is so important. Starting with group therapy at the college to applying for special learning conditions, one must approach professional healthcare specialists to choose the best recovery plan.
The Factors That Contribute to the Rise in Mental Health Conditions Among the UK Students
The first aspect that must be remembered is that the mental health challenges for students are exactly the same as they are for the general people. While there may be certain factors that relate to academic difficulties and the conflicts with the college professors, these are still the same social issues. A frequent mistake among the students and casual observers is thinking that mental disorders that require additional help are limited to illnesses like Schizophrenia or PTSD variations, yet there is more than that.
The underlying factors at play include:
- Family or relationship challenges.
- Personal trauma (including physical injuries).
- Mood swings and lack of interest in academic success, studies, and times of leisure.
- Stress, overly demanding course requirements.
- Financial burdens, study, and work at the same time.
- Living away from home.
- Various on-campus conflicts.
At the same time, there are other factors like going through a divorce, pregnancy, medical issues, loss of a close friend, or being an immigrant. While these examples may not be directly related to mental problems, they easily end up in the list of reasons for PTSD and depression.
The Types of Mental Health Problems Among College Students
- Depression. Depression can be characterised by the presence of sadness, loss of hope, and the inability to enjoy things. The other symptoms include frequent mood swings, irregular sleep patterns, change of appetite, headaches, and body pains. It must be noted that symptoms may vary in each case, which is why there is no universal pattern. Since it is a chemical reaction, it may include a decline in physical well-being in addition to emotional symptoms and a certain way of thinking. The effect of depression can be summed up with a sense of fear and not wishing to talk about what disturbs a person. The most important is to listen and stay sensitive since it is way too easy to label each other and come up with a wrong diagnosis.
- Suicide. In this case, we talk about suicidal thoughts or behaviour that leads to a severe mental crisis. The signs are close to those of depression and anxiety, yet with the increased intensity. It is a serious matter, which is why if you even suspect such a case, report it immediately. However, speech signs of being a burden to others or seeing no reason to live is not a guarantee that a person is suicidal. If there is rage, drugs, alcohol, and aggression, it is a red flag alert of things going wrong. The most important is to be next to a student in trouble.
- Anxiety. The anxiety includes a constant sense of being worried, ongoing tension, and panic attacks, academic success apprehension, popularity, and the disruption of the daily ways of life. When it affects the studies and normal functioning, it becomes related to a mental medical condition. It also includes Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, which stands for a constant fear of embarrassment. The other symptoms include headaches, irritability, fearfulness, frequent upset stomach, and a sense of stress and apprehension. The effect it has is trouble concentrating and losing one’s focus on things. The sense of guilt and panic attacks are more typical for severe cases.
- Eating Disorders. It can be summed up as an irregular eating pattern with an intense focus on one’s body image and the way how people perceive it. It is especially typical for the British students who turn to junk food and the snacks that do not add to emotional and psychological well-being. The typical symptoms involve distorted body image, excessive exercising, fear of eating anything in public, emotional anger when someone is eating next to them. The negative effect it has: an irregular heartbeat, failure of the reproductive system, and kidney problems.
- Addiction. Substance abuse remains one of the most frequent mental health problems among British students since college has an easier access for alcohol and recreational drugs that many students believe can help them to excel academically. The effect it has is a psychological dependence, dangerous behaviour types, and the consequent use of painkillers due to withdrawal symptoms. The signs of substance abuse include impaired coordination, fear, aggression, weight loss, sudden change of a social circle, and trouble with the law because of the frequent fights and irrational thinking.
- PTSD. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder relates to certain conditions and emotional breakdowns that took place as a result of being a witness of an awful event. The symptoms vary from case to case, which is why college counselling specialists must approach each occurrence individually and keep within the privacy rules. Since the effect of PTSD can be lengthy, special learning environment conditions may apply as well as the additional individual tutoring.
- Loss in the Family. When a college student experiences loss in the family or a difficult situation with the death of a close friend, they can apply for additional mental counselling and ask for help. Since it may affect the studies and the normal functioning, a psychologist’s assistance may be necessary for a better recovery free of charge. It only proves how important it is to use all the resources on campus to live a full-bodied life even when the heavy times strike.
Tips for College Students: Where to Get Help
If you feel concerned about your well-being or know a student who may be in trouble, remember that the matters of privacy must come first. Be sensitive and talk to someone before taking action. If the mental issue concerns you personally, seek someone you can trust to discuss your issues. As an example, you can approach a close friend, a sibling, tutor at the university, campus counsellor, or a healthcare professional that may be able to assist you in more severe cases with substance abuse as an example.
The practice shows that talking to a tutor may lead you to additional resources that will fit your case and help to adjust your academic schedule in case of such a need.
You may consider these mental help options:
- University Counselling Help
Since professional help may come at a certain cost unless it is covered by your insurance, it is a good idea to use free and confidential college help services that are not any worse and are aimed at students. Talking to a psychotherapist may become a solution required. Even if you do not need immediate help, you can take your time to explore this kind of assistance and find out what is on offer, how to make an appointment and find a mental health adviser. Remember that you can ask for help regardless if you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student.
- Get Help From Students Like You
In some cases, you can turn to student unions if it feels like your cup of tea. Even though you won’t talk to a qualified counsellor per se, it may be much easier to talk to someone your age who understands all the stress and trouble that you are going through. A good example is Student Minds, which is a British mental health service.
- Therapy and Counselling Services
There also are online services that you can use as a reference for self-assistance like Students Against Depression, yet it cannot be considered as a recovery program. Turning to professional counselling grants you a chance to get well in a safe environment and discuss your situation with a person who is trained to handle such issues. Starting with the NHS’s mental help services to the UMHAN network that offers mental health guidance for students, you must seek immediate help or at least know about the existing resources in the UK.
Resources For Students with Mental Health Problems
Depression Alliance. Helpful information about depression issues for college students. It has a list of resources and recovery programs.
Journeys. This unique site offers resources that help to find a personal route that helps to recover from a depressive state. It offers a confidential service and has skilled British specialists.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). It is a confidential hotline in the UK that deals with people who have severe emotional issues and suicidal thoughts. While it is not equal to calling a doctor, this organisation is a good solution that helps to find specific information and get help.
AnxietyUK. This service offers professional assistance with all kinds of anxiety types. You can find therapy locations, learn about various kinds of this mental illness, see why it happens, and find out about available courses and groups. It also has a Covid-19 support group, which is essential in these turbulent times.
Beat — The UK’s Eating Disorder Charity. This helpful resource offers help and treatment options and aims to increase eating disorders awareness. In addition to its supporting services, it acts as a private guide that reviews your situation and helps to end the suffering that comes along with this mental health issue.
NHS’s Eating Disorders. You can read about anorexia nervosa, binge eating, and other types of eating disorders. In addition to that, the NHS offers various treatment plans and ways to seek confidential help for someone you may know.
Rehab 4 Addiction. If you are a student who deals with substance abuse, drugs, or alcohol, this resource focuses on colleges and universities in the UK. You can use it as a treatment guide and a place to learn more about available resources and the ways how you can help a close friend or a sibling.
PTSD UK. This is a friendly place to learn about PTSD disorder and find out about treatment plans and resources available for UK residents. It has information regarding PTSD flashbacks and triggers in addition to the guide for family members where PTSD takes place.
University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN). This resource offers general information about the network of healthcare professionals that work with college and university students and educators. It has information for students, a list of resources, and the community forum where you can ask about your particular needs or find a mental health professional dealing with particular education challenges.
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) in the UK
It is a not widely-known fact among the British students, yet if you have a mental disability and require professional help, you can apply for the DSA support from the UK government, which stands for Disabled Students’ Allowance. If you have never heard about DSA before, you can discuss this matter with your university adviser on mental health and find out about various benefits that you can receive as a student. Some of them include financial support in terms of:
— Additional learning equipment like a computer if your mental health condition requires special software.
— Non-medical counselling of a person present in the lecture hall or on-campus.
— Traveling expenses that may be necessary because of a mental health condition or healthcare appointments.
— Tuition costs for special schedules that may be introduced as a result of the mental health state.
Since we talk about governmental help, it is recommended to learn how you can receive financial help that may be necessary to get through the challenging college times.
Seeking mental health resources, the most important is to remember that you do not have to suffer on your own because help does exist and you can receive it free of cost with all the confidentiality rules being met. The same relates to a friend in trouble who may not be able to seek help on their own. Always ask for help, talk to your mental health adviser, and live your life the way it is meant to be!