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77% of students do not feel confident they could access mental health support, finds The Student Room

In a poll published on The Student Room back in April 2020, and attracting over 5000 respondents, uncertainty around education was found to be the number one factor impacting mental health.  Six months on and TSR are still seeing huge spikes in those seeking support from their peer support volunteer teams.  Unsurprisingly, as the pandemic continues, along with the uncertainty around education, the numbers remain worryingly high.   

CoolCavy, a member of The Student Room wrote that “unfortunately it seems like the government is only interested in saving lives if it is covid related, anything else can just be forgotten about or ignored because covid takes precedence over everything it seems”.

In a snap poll run on the site this week, over three-quarters of students said that they did not feel confident in accessing support for their mental health needs.

One community member commented “I think the system is extremely broken – like the social housing system – unless you have an “extreme or bad case” you’ll be either told to buzz off or referred to your college or uni to be a burden to them instead”. 

The Student Room has its own dedicated mental health forum, and works closely with a number of mental health organisations, one being the NHS-approved digital mental wellbeing service Good Thinking.  

Richard Graham, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for the service commented

At Good Thinking we try to find the best tools and Apps to support mental health. Many of the resources, such as the self-assessments that advise you on what help you should seek, or intensive workbooks that therapists use, are free to use. Online services can offer a valuable alternative to traditional services, and can be really helpful for many, but they don’t replace offline services. So if online support isn’t right for you, don’t be reluctant to find out about your local services.  It’s really important that you do reach out to them for help.”

Alongside the peer-to-peer support and informative articles found on The Student Room, there is very clear signposting for users to access expert online and real-life services. 

Mhairi Underwood, Head of Community at The Student Room commented that 

Since COVID-19 entered students’ lives, we’ve seen them reaching out for support like never beforeWe hear stories of students who’ve had great success accessing mental health services, but sadly we also see students who feel alienated by the care system, sometimes as a result of long wait times or inconsistencies. This latest student sentiment worryingly shows that many students do not trust that the system would be able to support them”.

Practical advice on where to go for mental health support during the pandemic can be found here.

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