Budgets towards mental health services have increased by 40%
- 3 Min Read
Young students seeking help from their universities has increased in the past 5 years. How important is it for them to get help for their future careers?
83 universities have provided five years worth of data related to mental health, it has been revealed that the number of students seeking help rose from 50,900 to 78,100. The number of students going to university dropped slightly over the same period.
Universities have increased their spending across 5 years in an attempt to combat this issue. As in 2012/2013, they spent £25.5 million, in comparison to 2016/2017 where there was 35.5 million spent. In total budgets towards mental health services increased by more than 40%.
It is important that these issues are addressed as soon as possible for these students, as the more they advance in their careers this could result in them having too much pressure for them. Leading to these mental issues potentially increasing when they take their next step to full-time jobs. With the stress and pressures of a young person moving from university to full-time job. This could have an extremely negative effect on their mental issues. With a survey by Nature Biotechnology revealing that “graduate students are more than six times as likely to experience depression and anxiety as compared to the general population”
Eva Crossan Jory, the NUS Vice President, said “Many are balancing work, study and caring responsibilities. With fees so high, and the job market so competitive, students feel they have to continually push themselves, perhaps more so than before.”
Furthermore, it is important for HR leaders to dedicate this amount of time and effort into their staff as they develop in a business, in order to create a happier workforce. David Bourne, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Thomas Online Benefits says “UK businesses need to place a greater emphasis on driving mental wellbeing within the workforce. Workplaces are rarely creators of mental health issues but they can be exacerbators. Employers, who all stand to gain from having happier, more productive employees, also have a responsibility to take a long, hard look at mental health within their organisations and make moves to drive awareness, acceptance. Business shouldn’t wait for government-led initiatives to trickle through; now’s the time to tackle mental health on the head-on and ring the changes from within”
In today’s age, there are a plethora of ways that a workplace can combat this issue, through culture, attention, and addressing this. ‘Mental health’ doesn’t have to be a scary phrase. It is possible to create a culture of openness and support, especially when discussing feelings, so that whatever your staff goes through and whenever it happens, it doesn’t have to affect them or the business negatively in the long run.
David goes on to discuss how businesses can tackle this crisis, saying “Today’s Budget clearly demonstrates a policy-level intention to tackle the UK’s mental health crisis. But while I applaud the initiatives announced; a mental health crisis service and 24-hour hotline among them, businesses must stand beside government to drive the mental health agenda.”