Mental health starts early

February 26, 2015

Thank you for raising the pressing issue of student mental well-being (“Diversity driving demand for mental healthcare”, News, 19 February). Every university has a pastoral duty of care for its students, and especially those still in their teens who may be living far away from home for the first time.

This month, we held the first meeting in London of the European ADOCARE mental health programme for young people with “mental health problems”. A key lesson was to develop both prevention and early intervention within national systems for mental healthcare.

Universities are having to react to young people whose distress has probably been festering since the age of 14 or 15. Counselling, befriending and financial help all have a pastoral role to play, as do (multi-faith) chaplaincies. The missing part is how, at heart, university managers value students “as competition hots up in the global bazaar for this multibillion-pound” business (“Don’t let others ruin your name”, Leader, 19 February). If that materialistic “bazaar” creates a spiritual vacuum, who cares if a few more young customers implode?

Woody Caan
Editor, Journal of Public Mental Health
Duxford, Cambridge

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

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham