Universities have begun to reduce or outsource their counselling services despite the demand.
According to The Guardian,universities are unable to keep up with the demand on services, with many maintaining or reducing the number of counsellors on site or sending students to NHS services. Campaigners fear that students with serious mental health issues will lose out if universities reduce the number of trained and experience counsellors.
The Office of National Statistics found that 95 students took their lives in the 12 months following July 2017.
David Mair, the former head of counselling at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘You need a wellbeing service, but the distinction between wellbeing and counselling needs to be understood. That understanding seems to disappear when counselling is subsumed within wellbeing.’
The University of Essex is changing their mental health services and outsourcing them until October.
A spokeswoman said: ‘The restructure will increase significantly the volume of counselling we can offer as well as create roles dedicated to launching new activities.’
This week the Home Office hosted a roundtable to discuss the mental health demand on policing.
According to the Gov.uk, the response to mental health crises by police and health care has improved with support from funding, legislative changes and effective partnerships.
The Minster for Policing, Nick Hurd, said: ‘Police are too often left to deal with people suffering from mental health issues, who actually need help from healthcare professionals and social services.’
‘We have made progress but are determined to do more to free up police time, so they can focus on fighting crime, while ensuring vulnerable people get the care they need.’
The roundtable followed Hurd’s request for feedback from UK police forces on the demand they face. Police have estimated that they can spend 20-40% of their time dealing with mental health cases.
The government has invested £30 million in places of safety that are focused on health case and banned detaining individuals under 18 with mental health difficulties in police cells.
The roundtable brought together agencies to discuss collaboration and best practice in an effort to ease the strain on police resources and ensure that those with mental health problems are receiving sufficient care and support.
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