Warning that university mental health services are ‘overwhelmed’

Mental health services at Scottish universities are “completely overwhelmed”, the Scottish Labor Party has warned.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by the party found that across 10 universities, 14,920 students sought help with their mental health in 2020/21.

Almost all universities reported a sharp increase in the number of requests for mental health support, the FOI found.

Based on available data, the numbers have almost tripled from 10 years ago.

The University of Edinburgh reported a 242% increase over the decade, while the University of Edinburgh Napier reported a 324% increase.

Labor has now urged the Scottish Government to ‘show the necessary leadership and bring together universities and health boards’ to deliver effective mental health services.

Mental health spokeswoman Carol Mochan said: “There is a full-fledged mental health crisis unfolding at our universities, but support remains dismal.

“Too often students are bounced back and forth when they need help, with services completely overwhelmed.

“This problem has been escalating for years and the added stress of the pandemic threatens to create a perfect storm.

“The SNP must show leadership and bring universities and health boards together to provide the services students need, as well as deliver on their promise to support counseling at our universities.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

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