There has been a fivefold increase in the number of students declaring a mental health difficulty to their institution over the last decade, leaving student services struggling to meet demand. There is universal concern about the increasing prevalence of suicide and self-harm in this demographic group. It is likely that problems accessing appropriate evidence-based mental health care are not borne equally across the student population in London, but this question has not yet been investigated.
This PhD project is exploring whether mental health services in London are meeting the needs of university students, and identifying whether service provision could be improved, and if so how this might be done. To do this, we are identifying and mapping what mental health services students access; conducting qualitative interviews with professionals who work in these services, and using data from cohort studies to understand students transitions into and through university.