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Universities see growing number of students seeking counselling

At the University of Warwick 2,372 students registered with counselling services in 2016/17 – 61% higher (rising from 1,471 students) than 2010/11 – resulting in either face to face or email counselling, group therapy or workshop sessions, in the 2016/17 academic year.

As for Coventry University, 830 students registered with counselling services, a rise from 502 in 2014/15 and 757 in 2015/16.

Freedom of Information requests have found an ever-rising demand for counselling services by students – depression and anxiety being the most common reasons.

Anxiety was the most common reason for contacting counselling services at Warwick University, which saw 216 contacts in 2016/17, followed by depressive mood disorders, with 212 contacts.

A spokesman for the University said: “UK wide there has clearly been an increase in the number of young adults seeking a range of counselling services.

“As many of those young people attend our universities almost all UK universities, including Warwick, have been actively adding significant additional resources to their counselling services to meet that need.”

Anxiety was the most common reason for contacting counselling services at Warwick University, which saw 216 contacts in 2016/17, followed by depressive mood disorders, with 212 contacts

The Office of National Statistics figures have shown 95 recorded student suicides – for the 12 months to July 2017 in England and Wales – amounting to 4.7 deaths per 100,000 students.

The worst the UK has seen in suicide rates was in the 12 months ending in July 2005, seeing a rate of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 students.

This ratio did decrease to 3.2 deaths per 100,000 students in the 12 months ending July 2006, reduced to its lowest in the 12 months ending July 2008, at 2.6 deaths per 100,000 students.

Since the 12 months ending July 2015, the rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 has plateaued. Of the 1,330 students committing suicide between the 12 months ending July 2001 and July 2017 – shown by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) – 878 (66%) were men and 452 (34%) were women.

Ellen Holmes, University of Warwick’s Welfare Officer has been contacted for comment.

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