Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today revealed that nearly 50,000 students have used university counselling services in the last 5 years and called on the Scottish Government and universities to work together to ensure student mental health is made a priority.
New statistics, published by the Scottish Liberal Democrats after a series of freedom of information requests, show that in the last five academic years 45,724 students have used university counselling services.
Edinburgh University and Glasgow University reported the highest demand for counselling services with 8,105 students and 9,308 students respectively using the counselling service.
The figures come after it was recently revealed that a student at Glasgow University had to wait 279 days to see a counsellor.
Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“A student’s time at university can be the time of their life but it can also be incredibly stressful. From anxiety over finances to stress related to academic work, there are challenges that can have implications for people's mental health.
“We know that students counselling services in universities work incredibly hard but these figures show just how much demand there is for their service. We recently revealed that a student in Glasgow had been waiting nearly 300 days for an appointment. This figure is nothing short of an outrage.
“Looking after a student’s mental health while they are at university must be a priority and it is imperative that the Scottish Government and universities across Scotland work together on this issue to make sure that counselling services are properly staffed and well resourced.”