Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Diversity Driving Demand for Mental Healthcare

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Diversity Driving Demand for Mental Healthcare

Article excerpt

The growing number of students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds is fuelling a rise in mental health problems in universities, a conference has heard.

Steve West, vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, said that many young people were suffering amid higher rates of family breakdown and the recession's continuing toll, which had increased demand for mental health services at his institution.

Professor West spoke at a Universities UK event in central London on 13 February that launched new guidelines to support institutions in dealing with mental health among the student body.

These guidelines aim to make sure that universities are offering effective and accessible support for students. The event, titled Student Mental Wellbeing: Policy, Practice and Future Directions, brought together staff responsible for mental health in higher education.

Professor West said that the student body has expanded significantly and that it has become "more socially and culturally diverse".

The numbers of students from low-participation areas and from overseas are on the rise.

"Many are the first generation coming to university, and their ability to be supported away from home may or may not be that well developed," Professor West said at the event. …

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