Student Suicide Rates Are On The Rise
The Debrief: Statistics show that they're at their highest level since at least 2007
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), student suicide figures are at their highest level since at least 2007.
Figures show 130 suicides full-time student aged 18 or above committed suicide in England and Wales in 2014, compared to 100 suicides in 2013 when the figures taken from the whole of the UK. A break down of these revealed that 97 of the deaths were male and 33 were female.
Despite these figures, people under 30 have the lowest suicide rates across the entire population and according to ONS, across all ages and for men and women, suicide rates were lower in 2014 than in 2004, 1994 and 1984.
Recent data from the University of York has also highlighted the pressing issue of mental health in universities, with a report that showed half of ambulance call-outs to the university since the start of the year and up until the first week in February were for self-harm or suicide attempts. In 2015, 32% of the 134 call-outs to the university involved suicide attempts or self-harm.
According to the BBC, the report noted that the ‘prevalence and severity’ of problems were getting worse. They also included evidence from more than 50 universities which had found a ‘noticeable increase in complex mental health crisis’ between 2014 to 2015.
They attributed this growth to young people experiencing increasing levels of stress due to things like social media and the pressure to succeed and noted the feelings of ‘low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and hopelessness’ that were felt if this wasn't achieved.
As a result of the report they’re asking for things such as more support for ‘first contact’ staff responding to a crisis, a more co-ordinated approach with the local NHS and tackling abuse on social media.
Ruth Caleb, chair of Universities UK's mental well-being working group, has previously said that the demand for counselling services in universities is on the rise with an annual rise of about 10%. What's clear is that mental health is a hugely important issue that UK universities need to be aware of and take bigger steps to address.
If you are experiencing problems with your mental health, please do seek help from your GP and find out what options are available to you.
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