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Cole-Hamilton urges more accessible and timely mental health help for students

November 19, 2021 12:14 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today commented on a recent survey on students' mental health showing that almost three-quarters of students reported low wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) called the survey "the largest ever study of student mental health in Scotland".

The report shows that:

  • 74% of respondents reported low wellbeing
  • 36% of respondents said they had moderately severe or severe symptoms of depression.
  • Almost half (45%) said they had experienced a serious psychological issue they felt needed professional help.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"These findings are heart breaking and alarming.

"The pandemic accentuated all the pre-existing holes and gaps in our already broken and understaffed system. Students have been under incredible pressure during the pandemic, it is hard enough to work on your degree in normal times, I struggle to imagine the impact remote or hybrid lectures and assessments can have on students' mental health.

"Waiting times for mental health services are long and the targets for treating people have never been met. If left untreated small problems can become crisis, people cannot afford to be on interminable waiting lists when they need immediate help.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats successfully secured an extra £120 million for mental health to pay for new services in communities and have extensively championed the cause of more accessible mental health help for everyone, and we will continue to do so. Everyone should be able to access adequate and timely mental health help.