USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education
Citation:Price, A., Smith, H.A., Kavalidou, K., USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education, Dublin, Ireland, 2019, August, 1 - 122
USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education.pdf (Final report) 2.406Mb
Third level education is a key life transition and can be an extremely stressful time for students. We already know that levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in Higher Education is increasing (IPPR 2017; McLafferty et al 2017). According to the Association for Higher Access and Disability (AHEAD) the number of students registering with the disability services in third level for mental health related disabilities has increased by 127% over the past five years (AHEAD 2019). Kessler and Wang’s (2008) research shows that 75% of adults with mental illness first experience symptoms before the age of 25 and the peak onset occurs between 18-25 years of age, coinciding with time spent in third level. Students in third level education are exposed to many stresses, which can trigger or exacerbate mental health difficulties. These include living away from family and friends for the first time, coming directly from a structured learning setting, as well as many students taking on additional work commitments to support themselves financially (McLafferty et al 2017). For early adults who have not yet established a stable life structure third level education can bring instability around romantic status, peer groups, financial pressure, course selection, academic demands, and career choices (Auerbach 2018). While mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing can affect all kinds of people, they are more common among those from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds (Stansfeld et al 2016). Widening participation to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds may account for some of the increase in prevalence among students as well as the increase in students with disabilities attending third level education. There is growing appreciation that mental health matters for both individuals and society in general. For individuals it can affect their ability to learn, form meaningful relationships and to live healthy lives. For society and third level institutions, it can have an impact on demand for services as well as an added risk for student drop out. As awareness grows it requires institutions to adjust and respond to the growing level of demand. To be able to adequately respond with an understanding of the student population and their mental health is needed. This report looks to provide an understanding of the current status of student mental health on the island of Ireland.
Author: Smith, Hazel
Type of material:Report
Availability:Full text available