Poor mental health is no fantasy 3

October 24, 2003

Some of the most academically brilliant students have some form of psychological problem. Would Frank Furedi rather they were not supported in a way that enables them to fulfil their potential? Would he rather they dropped out or stayed away from universities?

He implies that the increase in mental illness and suicidal thoughts among students is encouraged by the presence of counsellors. I disagree. Having counsellors in universities enables seriously depressed students to feel it is all right to talk to someone.

We may not be the panacea for all ills, but nor are we the pariahs Furedi thinks we are. Rather than getting rid of us, why doesn't he join us to research the reasons why some young people are so troubled and how we could do more to help them?

Ann Heyno
Head of the Counselling and Advice Service, University of Westminster

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