Increase in men using University counselling and psychological services

Credit: Jeremiah Sim

Credit: Jeremiah Sim

Austen Shakespeare

The number of men approaching University counselling services has almost doubled at Glasgow University over the past five years.

In the past year alone demand for mental health counselling amongst men at the University has increased by 21% according to official figures released to The Glasgow Guardian. The rise has been partially attributed to an increase in male councillors on campus.

Nationally, the number of students arriving at University with pre-existing mental health conditions is also rising. HEPI, the Higher Education Policy Institute, claimed in a recent report that many universities need to increase their spending by three times, stating: “‘A majority of students experience low wellbeing and over one-in-ten have a diagnosable mental illness. The scale of the problem is bigger than ever before.”

The University of Glasgow’s Psychological and Counselling Service was awarded Student Support Team of the Year 2016 at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2016.

A spokesperson for the University told The Glasgow Guardian: “Student welfare is one of the highest priorities for the University of Glasgow. We have made significant improvements to our counselling services, including increased visibility of the options available to our students.

“We have a very rigorous and well worked out approach to anyone who requests or requires assistance. Cases which are deemed to be priority are fast tracked to the appropriate treatment, and over the past 12 months 169 priority cases have been processed in this way, taking precedence over other cases on the waiting lists.

“However we also provide daily consultation and drop-in sessions for students who present with personal risk issues, including self-harm. Almost 1,000 consultations have been undertaken on this basis in the past twelve months.

“If a student presents with a severe type of eating disorder the case is referred to the NHS, as the University is not funded or equipped to manage a case that would require the level of psychological input required to treat the student.

“If the student presents with an eating disorder that is being managed, or is in remission, or if a student has a previous diagnosis of an eating disorder that may be in the initial stages of being triggered again, then we often provide support to enable the student to continue to study. These cases are monitored closely for onward referral if required.”