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Mental health
Student mental health crisis and the question of responsibility: Should universities invest more resources in prevention than intervention?
  1. Katharina Sophie Vogt1,2,
  2. Judith Johnson1,2
  1. 1School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katharina Sophie Vogt, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom; kathy.vogt{at}bthft.nhs.uk

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Commentary on: Barnett P, Arundell LL, Saunders R, et al. The efficacy of psychological interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental health disorders in university students: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2021;280(Pt A):381–406. doi: 10.1016 /j.jad.2020.10.060. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Implications for practice and research

  • Mental health problems are prevalent in university students; but common disorders, such as depression and anxiety, respond to treatment

  • The question remains of who is responsible for delivering interventions, and how best to deliver these

  • Universities should consider preventative options, such as reducing cohort sizes, to enhance sense of community

Context

There is a mental health crisis in university students, with mental health problems becoming increasingly prevalent.1–3 Previously, it was thought that being a university student was a protective factor for mental health (as it was predominantly the economically stable who attended). However, as more access higher education, mental health prevalence in students is changing; arguably becoming more representative of the general population.1 This, alongside increasing performance-related and financial worries, …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @DrKathySVogt, @DrJTJohnson

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.