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Student mental health and well-being: are universities doing enough?
  1. David Barrett1,
  2. Alison Twycross2
  1. 1 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  2. 2 School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Open University, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Barrett, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK; D.I.Barrett{at}

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There is increasing recognition that students in higher education are a population group at high risk of facing mental health challenges. Indeed, the Institute for Public Policy Research recently acknowledged that the level of mental illness and mental distress among UK university students is increasing, and is greater than other sections of the population.1 The prevalence of mental health issues among university students was highlighted by the results of a 2015 survey by the National Union of Students that found that in a sample of 1093 students:

  • Seventy-eight per cent reported facing mental health problems in the previous year.

  • Two-thirds of respondents reported having felt depressed in the last year.

  • The prevalence of suicidal thoughts in the previous 12 months (33%) was double that reported in the general population2 (although the rate of suicide among students has fallen substantially in the past 25 years, and is significantly lower than that …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests DB is an Associate Editor for EBN journal. AT is the Editor of EBN journal.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.