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82% of students suffer from stress and anxiety

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Research commissioned by UniHealth, the UK’s first health and wellbeing messaging platform for students has just revealed some distressing statistics.

The new report, based on a survey of over 1000 first and second year university students revealed that 82% of students at UK universities suffer from stress and anxiety and 45% have experienced depression.

More worrying still, 1 in 5 students have suicidal feelings.

Yet only 25% of students experiencing this said they would seek help - the other three quarters admitted being too embarrassed, think it’s waste of time, or don’t even know where to find help.

The report also uncovered the five biggest worries for students starting their university careers: making friends; doing well on their course; cooking; money; and feeling under pressure to take drugs. Many of these incoming students admit to feeling unsupported by their universities as freshers’ week approaches.

More than three quarters of the students surveyed believe that more wellbeing support such as help to fit into university life could help to prevent them dropping out.

Indeed, many UK institutions have been criticised over how they are handling mental health issues. Just earlier this year it became apparent that there had been a significant rise in the number of students dropping out of university due to mental health problems. According to UniHealth, every student dropping out costs their university £33,000.

Dr Dominique Thompson, an in-house university GP said: “Being able to manage stress, eat healthily, make new friends and sleep well are vital, not only for student wellbeing but great academic outcomes. As the research suggests, many students shy away from getting help, so it’s crucial universities consider how they can offer different support services that fit with their students’ lifestyles, and digital is one of the answers.”

Unsurprisingly, nearly a third of students would prefer to receive support via private message on social media.

Daphne Metland, Director at UniHealth said: “ The majority of students starting university now are digital natives, communicating mostly via their smartphone. Messaging programmes delivered on Facebook Messenger offer private 24/7 messaging support and can cover a range of topics from mental wellbeing and resilience to sexual health and contraception. A digital solution means students can get the help they require, when and where they need it.” 

Image courtesy of Mmw3v.

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