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Universities must prioritise mental health

16 June, 2016 - by Catherine Seeley

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Catherine Seeley has expressed concern about heightened levels of anxiety among students.

Speaking following a study on suicide by the University of Ulster Ms Seeley said:

 “The transition from school to university is a difficult one.  The level of support received is significantly less than what young people will be used to in school.

“Sterling work has gone on within our schools to enhance support and counselling services for pupils. We now need to examine how we implement this within our universities.

“It is alarming that, due to increased feelings of anxiety and loneliness as well as addiction, one in five students here have self-harmed.

“The work of bodies such as Carecall has proved invaluable. However, the report highlights a reluctance of students to talk about their feelings and to seek help.

“We therefore need to increase the levels of support and continue to tackle any stigma or blockages which prevents students coming forward. We must arrive at a stage where students know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is to be ok to ask for help.”

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