Good mental health

March 26, 2015

The stock response to rising levels of demand for psychological and emotional support in universities is that destigmatising mental ill-health leads to more people disclosing problems (“Oxford students’ demand for counselling shoots up”, News, 12 March).

Yet, as many colleagues working in university counselling, mental health and learning support services admit, there is widespread concern that we are expanding what we regard as signs of “stress”, “anxiety” and “depression”, that more students are presenting themselves and being labelled as “vulnerable” and that we are eliding mental health and “well-being” to the point of meaninglessness.

Add into the mix the idea that league table rankings for “support” are integral to satisfaction in “the student experience”, and it becomes impossible to have a frank debate about how to estimate the real scale of mental ill-health and to allocate scarce resources.

Kathryn Ecclestone
Professor of education, University of Sheffield

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns