Universities and Mental Health Care
There is a real problem brewing in mental health and it is in our young, particularly those who go to university. There was a recent survey done which showed the suicide rates of those at university. And not the Government is awarding a certificate of excellence for universities which meet their new standards of mental health care. The government wants universities to provide an opt in service for vice chancellors which would alert families if the mental health of their family member at university were to decline or be in crisis.
This is all well and good. However, what I and other psychotherapists believe, is that there need to be more education for students about their mental health. These are young people who are living away from home many for the first time. They do not have the knowledge and understanding about their own mental health situation and need guidance. Campaigns to discuss mental health openly are certainly helping. As is the number of celebrities coming forward to talk about their own struggles with mental health. However, a novel idea might be to bring professional psychotherapists into the universities to talk about mental health issues. This could be done in the classroom or at the student union. I have always advocated a psycho-educational approach to psychotherapy, we need the education bit or we condemn a generation to mental health struggles which we did not do enough to prevent.