A survey conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) has found that 50% of UK students have said their mental health has declined since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, as reported by the BBC.
Over 4,000 students were surveyed in November, many saying they have suffered from depression, anxiety and loneliness.
The lack of social interactions and face to face teachings has impacted many students negatively.
However despite this rise, the survey found that only one fifth of students surveyed had tried to get help with their mental health.
President of the NUS Larissa Kennedy said in the report with the BBC: “it is deeply troubling that students are not getting the help they need…students deserve better than their treatment this term. It is time for the government to fund university, collage and NHS mental health services”
Shaakir, a second year student studying Journalism at South Bank University discussed his experience at Uni this year.
He lives alone in a studio apartment but the lack of face to face teachings means he feels like his is living in a “bubble of one”. Shaakir further explained: “I don’t get to socialise with anyone… as my accommodation rules are that my bubble is myself…I am not allowed to speak to anyone”
He has described himself as having “zero motivation…On bad days usually I’ll just stay in bed, stay under the covers and just sleep”
He says: “I think at its worst its been like three days of just lights out, blinds down. And just the only time I leave bed is to go to the bathroom”
Although South Bank University reportedly offered comprehensive mental health support, and those who found themselves in studio flats had been offered to change accommodation.
Shaakir feels his Uni could have done more to reach out to its struggling students, rather than just sending them emails.
The NUS is wanting more funding for Universities student counselling and wellbeing services.
Another student Klaudia, a first-year philosophy student at Liverpool University. Who suffers from anxiety says she was forced to isolate after only a few days of arriving.
The lack of social interaction and face to face teaching meant she was completely alone for days on end in her room. She was even restricted from socialising in the communal areas of her flat.
Klaudia said: “Every sort of fire door’s shut, and everything was cut off… the living room- where the shared area was- was completely shut off”
She discusses how she fell into “a very depressing state of mind… she felt everything was hopeless”
She reached out to the university counselling services but she found it difficult to “discuss the amount of overwhelming things that were happening in my mind at that time”
Students who were stuck inside were reportedly monitored by security guards, which she says she found very frightening.
Klaudia eventually had to make the hard decision to return home to Newcastle for the sake of her mental health.
Liverpool Hope University also commented on the BBC report saying they: “took the wellbeing of their students extremely seriously, and worked tirelessly to offer mental health and other support”
The Uni’s spokesperson said: “students had access to outside space in a regulated manner”
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said it recognised is had been a difficult time for students: “We encourage students to contact their university’s support and welfare team if they are struggling with their mental health”
The DofE spokesperson also stated that they had provided up to £3m to fund the mental health platform Student Space, designed to work alongside university and NHS services.
Feature Image Credit: BBC News
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