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Warwick SU to prioritise mental health

Warwick Student’s Union (SU) have declared that they plan to make mental health issues a priority for this coming academic year.

According to a 2013 poll of 1200 participants by the National Union of Students (NUS), 20% of university students consider themselves to have a mental health problem – with 13% admitting to having suicidal thoughts.

Yet, of this number, the Guardian about-mental-health-problems) claims only 10% use the counselling services provided by their university, and 26% will not receive any treatment at all.

Warwickshire itself as a county has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country: from 2007-2009 there were 5.76 suicides per 100,000 people.

But this does not necessarily mean the University of Warwick is providing the right level of support for the 1 in 4 people that suffer from mental illness in their lifetime.

Two Warwick sabbatical officers – president Isaac Leigh and welfare officer Luke Pilot – are behind the initiative ton mental health.

They stated: “We are incredibly concerned about the rise in issues relating to students’ mental health. It is really important to us that we are there for students who are going through these experiences.”

The pair intend to instigate early intervention for students suffering from mental health issues, providing practical tips for those worried about their friends and making the systems already in place stronger.

They also hope to push for peer support groups to run on campus.

Isaac further commented: “Warwick can be more open about mental health, and the role of academics and the duty of care to their students needs to be clearer, with tutors being more proactive and conscious of their students’ wellbeing.

“We need to be comfortable using the right, stigma-free language to discuss this topic.”

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