As teenagers across the nation pick up their A-Level results today, thousands will be looking forward in excitement to the prospect of starting a new chapter in their lives at university in a matter of weeks.
But while for many it will be a memorable and enjoyable time, the sad reality, as interviews with students in The Yorkshire Post today highlight, is a sizeable proportion will struggle to live up to the high expectations society all-too-often places on people’s university years.
Recent research has shown levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in higher education in the UK are increasing, with more than nine in ten institutions reporting a rise in demand for counselling.
There have also been increases in the number of people with mental health problems dropping out of university and most tragically, rises in the number of student suicides in England and Wales.
There are Government plans to work with Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity, in developing a charter recognising universities that meet mental health standards to promote staff and student wellbeing.
But equally there are calls for more support for students, with increased investment in support service and helping young people at university deal with the financial pressures of going through a degree.
One of the most important elements in dealing with mental health is people sharing their experiences - but this can only be achieved if there are the facilities in place for them to receive the professional support they require.