Frank Furedi's professional references seem based on a single British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy press release dated June 2003. He misquotes a statement by me about the changing university environment, and how this is causing "mental illness".
No link to "illness" was made in my original statement. The problems the majority of students bring to counsellors include depression, anxiety, bereavement, eating disorders, abuse and relationship difficulties with families, peers and partners.
This list can only in part be described as being "the ordinary troubles of life". Students will usually be experiencing these problems so acutely that they require the opportunity to speak confidentially because it feels unsafe or inappropriate to speak to others.
Most universities have excellent professional counselling services, providing a breadth of support for students who need the service and an important referral source for staff.
These services will continue to develop, especially as student support is central to the success of widening participation.
Head, Student Counselling Service
University of Leeds