A growing area of concern has been the Mental Health of university students, as research has shown that up to 25% of students struggle with their mental health at some point during their studies. Evidently, with the 2020 pandemic and lockdown measures, students reported their mental health declining even more. As a result, there has been increasing awareness about students struggling with mental health, and around the United Kingdom there have been different support programs put in place. The NHS has informational pages dedicated to students' mental health, universities around the UK have support services and there are a number of charities who specifically support students.
Warwick Enactus along with Mindsum conducted a survey among university students which asked them to rate any experience of 9 mental health disorders along with the frequency of cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms experienced. The students were also asked questions regarding the medium in which they received or would like to receive therapy, such as online therapy as this was an area that expanded a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results found that most students experience anxiety disorders at some point during their studies. In addition, the students rated their satisfaction of different support services available and found that university services, private therapy and NHS therapy were among the most popular, however the majority of students reported being only somewhat satisfied by these options. The results of the survey also showed that they had a preference for online therapy services along with face to face therapy services as they could save time, cost and avoid any stigma from friends and family.
Warwick Enactus provided a deep insight into the needs as well as the barriers of students' mental health support. It seems that despite having access to mental health services, there are barriers which come between getting help. Student’s reported that the wait time between sessions is too long, with them finding it more difficult for them to get better when they reach out for help further along their mental health decline. Along with these, support sessions are too short in duration and in fact, trying to obtain a therapy session was not as accessible as the services make it seem due to a lack of availability of mental health professionals. They also find that therapy itself is very expensive and sometimes despite needing help, students are unable to afford it in the first place.
This information provided by Warwick Enactus has been very useful in Mindsum’s effort to increase the accessibility of mental health support. Mindsum has ensured to have a group of therapists who support different areas of mental health so that availability will not be a barrier in getting help. Secondly, Mindsum takes into account the economic issues students could potentially face when it comes to getting help. As a result, Mindsum is committed to helping students with funding as well as making the initial consultation free of charge. Obtaining a session with a therapist through Mindsum is not time consuming as opposed to other services, students are able to self refer themselves to therapists. Lastly, as there is an increasing preference of online therapy, Mindsum assists with online sessions that are safe and secure as sensitive information is exchanged during the course of the session.
If you are a student who is struggling with their mental health and would like to speak with a mental health professional, you can visit our platform and sign up where you can book your free initial consultation today.