An investigation by The Sun has reported an increase in the number of third-level students seeking help from their respective college mental health services. The investigation also found that more females than males are availing of the services.
Some of the most common reasons students are seeking help are finances, having trouble fitting in, coursework and finding their living situation stressful. The investigation details student numbers availing of college mental health services and what services are available to them.
In Trinity College Dublin (TCD) 1,748 students used the university mental health services in the 2016/17 academic year, up from 1,369 in 2012/13. TCD students can avail of eight free sessions each per year. Professional counsellors, online counselling, group sessions and workshops are also available to students. The university also uses student listening service Niteline.
TCD Students' Union Welfare Officer Damien McClean is quoted in the article stating there is high demand for the university's counselling services but reassures students that someone will always be on hand to assist them.
The counselling services are under pressure and in high demand but if there is an emergency there is always someone who will be able to see you.
In DCU 20% of students who attended the Health Centre was referred to the mental health services with another 3% referred for outside help. In total 868 students used the DCU counselling service in 2016/17, an increase of approximately 4%.
DIT's figures for 2015/16 show that 1,067 students received 2,971 sessions. This is a significant increase on 2014/15 when 871 students received 2,797 sessions.
Similar to TCD, IT Blanchardstown also uses Nitelink. Last year 232 students used the college mental health services with 65% being female and 35% male.
In UL 1,123 people used the college mental heatlh services in the 2016/17 academic year, an increase of 11% on the previous year. It is stated in the article that 604 of these students were female and 519 were male compared to 553 female and 423 male in 2015/16.
Galway-Mayo IT provides an apointment system, uses a drop-in option and also caters to urgent sessions. In 2016/17 263 females, 184 males and one unspecified person used these services.