There has been a surge in third-level students registering with mental health conditions, according to a new report.
AHEAD - Association for Higher Education Access & Disability - reported a 46% rise in the number of new students who registered as having a mental health condition. This also represented 14% of all new students registering with a disability in 16/17.
The study examined the numbers of students with disabilities in higher education in the academic year 2016/17.
Ann Heelan, Executive Director of AHEAD, noted the significance of the increase but said it wasn't surprising.
Supports are improving at second level meaning more students are coming through and a positive change in public attitudes to mental health is resulting in students feeling more comfortable in disclosing to support services on campus.
Commenting on support for students, Ms Heelan said:
Our Mental Health Matters research from 2016 indicated that creating a positive culture of disclosing mental health conditions is really important, for example by talking openly about services available on campus during college orientation events. Clear policies and procedures for college staff on what to do when someone discloses to them can also prove very effective in ensuring that students get the support they need
The research also revealed a jump in the number of students who registered with ADD/ADHD - a 70% rise compared to the previous academic year.
Findings showed that the numbers of students with disabilities in higher education has grown by more than 12 times since the Association first began recording its data in the 93/94 academic year.
12,500 students are registered with disability services in campuses nationwide which is 5.7% of the total student population.
To read the report in full and get more information visit www.ahead.ie