Rewind 10 years and mental health was not a common topic like it is today.
Having spent over 18 months researching this topic, we found that the number of students who have disclosed a mental health condition has increased by 7x within 10 years. This is truly horrifying but it's also a good sign that people are starting to be more open about it.
To reflect this increase, a survey from IPPR found that 94% experienced an increase in demand for counselling services. The survey also reported that in some institutions, up to 1 in every 4 students is using, or waiting to use, counselling services.
There is still a question of whether student mental health is deteriorating or whether we live during the time when disclosing mental health concerns and issues is less scary. However, one could argue that COVID-19 will negatively affect many people's mental health, therefore we can expect to see the numbers of students with mental health issues increasing during 2020/21 academic year.
Student wellbeing and university withdrawals
What we can't deny is the fact that student wellbeing has an impact on withdrawals - 2/3 of universities have recorded a rise in student dropouts since 2012. At present, 1/3 of students are dropping out due to their mental health issues and the ability to cope.
Unfortunately, in the past, there’s been no way of universities predicting these dropouts. The only way of them finding out would be when the student attempts to cancel their accommodation contract of completes a withdrawl request form. And of course - by this point, it’s often too late to intervene, discuss options and prevent the student from leaving.
Did you know that you can improve or even completely eliminate this problem? By having a centralised location to log students incidents, concerns or issues, universities will be able to react and respond much earlier. This means the university can intervene and potentially influence the student's decision to leave.
In uncertain times like COVID-19, you need ways to "predict" the future and a clear understanding of your students' physical and mental health.