The UK is facing a mental health crisis. One in four UK adults are directly affected by a mental health problem, and estimates suggest that at least one in five of us are affected by suicidal thoughts. In the UK in 2006, 31 million antidepressant prescriptions were dispensed, but now, antidepressants are the fourth most prescribed drug in the UK, with around 64.7 million prescriptions dispensed in 2016 alone.
As with any part of society, there are many aspects of university life that can be challenging and difficult for any student. Academically, students are faced with an arduous workload, incessant deadlines, a competitive ethos and the constant pressure to succeed. University can also be a challenging experience socially, with the juncture of moving away from home allowing students the freedom to experience new activities - such as clubbing - whilst simultaneously demanding an increased level of maturity, financial responsibility and independence.
Therefore, we believe that time, attention, funding and focus would be well spent on developing a student led service that would;
Offer accessible routes to mental health management. We will launch two, brand new and inclusive support groups for our current students which will encourage and empower them to lead mentally healthy lifestyles. These will be:
Develop and deliver an educational outreach programme in order to educate the students of tomorrow about mental health, resilience and the importance of looking after your mental health. If we can educate young people about mental health, hopefully they will be able to speak more openly about it to their parents and caregivers before arriving at University, which will hopefully reduce the strain on University services and instil an ethos of holistic wellbeing in A level students.
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