University of Limerick is currently the only Irish university without a psychiatrist

Posted in Governance and administration on October 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“University of Limerick (UL) have not reappointed a consultant psychiatrist, it was reported earlier this week – making it the only Irish university without an on-campus psychiatrist. In a statement, the university said: ‘UL remains fully committed to ensuring an adequate provision of on-campus psychiatry services as part of the wider range of support services to its student community’ …” (more)

[Aisling O’Connor, Limerick Voice, 12 October]

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Student march highlights lack of mental health support services

Posted in Governance and administration on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The rightful entitlement to democratic freedom of expression was reflected on the streets of Athlone on Wednesday afternoon when students from Athlone Institute of Technology marched, in peaceful protest mode, from the education establishment to Burgess Park in the centre of town, expressing their immense dissatisfaction at the lack of funding allocated to third level institution mental health counselling services …” (more)

[Ronan Fagan, Athlone Advertiser, 11 October]

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The mental and physical health cost of higher education

Posted in Life on October 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It’s not controversial to say that education is a boon to society. We dedicate years of our life to learning valuable skills which we then in turn use to benefit ourselves and those around us. But more and more we are seeing how the stress and immense pressure created by education, especially higher education, is having a severely detrimental effect on students …” (more)

[Mark Doran, University Observer, 1 October]

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President urges students to speak out about mental health issues

Posted in Governance and administration on September 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has encouraged students to speak out about mental health issues and to be alert for signs that their friends might need professional support. Mr Higgins said any society that neglected mental health ‘loses a rich resource’ …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 27 September]

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People with disability now more likely to go to college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There has been significant growth in the number of students with disabilities, including those with a mental health condition or autism, going to third-level education. In 2016/17, 10% (4,482) of new entrants to college had a disability, compared with 6% in 2012/13 and 4% in 2007/08. The data has been collated by the Higher Education Authority for the mid-term review of the National Access Strategy 2015-19 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 August]

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Healthy University Champions

Posted in Governance and administration on July 27th, 2018 by steve

“Like most of my colleagues, I was until recently unaware of the changes the University of Essex is planning to make to its provision of support for students suffering from mental illness. In general, we hear about such changes only once they are a fait accompli, and are told that it is too late to do anything about them. If we pick up rumours earlier in the process, we are told that it is too early: the idea is still just an idea, still at the ‘consultation’ stage, nothing has been decided yet …” (more)

[Lorna Finlayson, LRB Blog, 27 July]

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Go-ahead for survey on colleges mental health services

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2018 by steve

“Students and staff are to be asked about the standard and level of mental health supports in colleges to help inform possible improvements. Growing demand for supports has seen some colleges increase their provision, but counselling and other services have been restricted or cut elsewhere due to funding problems over the past decade …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 18 June]

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We must confront the culture of overwork to tackle academia’s mental health crisis

Posted in Life on June 17th, 2018 by steve

“For me, as for many others at Cardiff University, the recent news coverage of Malcolm Anderson’s suicide has been a real blow. I did not know the accounting lecturer personally. The thing that was so shocking about reading the articles was just how familiar many of the details felt …” (more)

[Grace Krause, Times Higher Education, 14 June]

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Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD has tasked NUI Galway to undertake a comprehensive survey of students, welfare officers and HE personnel, on how they are promoting and protecting students’ mental health

Posted in Research on June 15th, 2018 by steve

“While attending the Mindful Way Conference at NUI Galway the Minister announced the Department of Education and Skills is to fund an important new wellbeing and mental health self-review survey tool on best practice and initiatives from across Higher Education in this critical area of healthcare …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 14 June]

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Universities’ league table obsession triggers mental health crisis fears

Posted in Research on June 12th, 2018 by steve

“Academic researcher John Banks (not his real name) still has big personal regrets about bowing to pressure from his former university in the run-up to the government’s last high-stakes audit of research. Universities obsess about the government’s Research Excellence Framework, known as the Ref, with good reason …” (more)

[Anna Fazackerley, Guardian, 12 June]

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Postgraduate students likely to experience stress and depression, according to GSU survey

Posted in Life on June 1st, 2018 by steve

“The average PhD student experiences severe stress, moderate anxiety and mild levels of depression, according to the results of a Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) postgraduate mental health survey. The survey was presented by GSU Vice-President Madhav Bhargav at a meeting of the Student Life Committee this week …” (more)

[Peter Kelly, Trinity News, 31 May]

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Is peer review bad for your mental health?

Posted in Research on April 19th, 2018 by steve

“Amidst fears of a mental health crisis in higher education, to what extent is the peer review process a contributing factor? It’s a process fraught with uncertainty, as authors try to forge something constructive from often mixed feedback or occasionally downright unhelpful comments. Helen Kara stresses the importance of being aware of the effects of uncertainty and taking steps to reduce its impact. Focus on what you can control, prepare for different outcomes, acknowledge how you’re feeling, and make sure to practise self-care …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 19 April]

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Third Level Expenditure – Psychotherapy Services

Posted in Governance and administration on April 19th, 2018 by steve

IrelandEugene Murphy (Roscommon-Galway, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the budget for psychotherapy services for September 2018 in third level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter … (more)

[Dáil written answers, 17 April]

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Labelling universities ‘toxic’ for mental health ‘is harmful’

Posted in Governance and administration on March 12th, 2018 by steve

“Labelling universities as ‘uniquely toxic environments’ could do more harm than good to student mental health, a leading psychiatrist has warned. There is growing concern about the prevalence of mental health conditions among students, but Sir Simon Wessely, Regius professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, questioned the value of campaigns that aimed to raise awareness of the mental health challenges associated with higher education …” (more)

[Sophie Inge, Times Higher Education, 9 March]

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Surge in third-level students reporting mental health issues

Posted in Life on February 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A spike in third-level students registering with mental health conditions has been attributed to better supports and reduced stigma. Ahead — the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability — reported a jump from 343 to 501 in the number of new students who made themselves known to disability services as having a mental health condition. However, it said, this 46% rise came as no surprise …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 8 February]

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Ulster University study highlights student mental health problems

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2018 by steve

“More than half of Ulster University (UU) undergraduates who took part in a major study reported suffering a mental health problem. That is according to a detailed student wellbeing survey carried out by researchers at the university …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 1 February]

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Academics under pressure: the invisible frontline in student mental health

Posted in Life on January 29th, 2018 by steve

“Interactions between students and academics can really shape a student’s experience – and for many students going through mental health difficulties, academics are often the first point of contact. Students turn to academics for advice because they may be seen as more approachable, accessible and they have a pre-existing relationship …” (more)

[Rachel Piper, Wonkhe, 29 January]

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Smart people problems: we need to talk about PhD mental health

Posted in Life on January 27th, 2018 by steve

“I was once invited to a costume party by graduate students where the theme was ‘what you would be doing if you hadn’t gone to grad school’. Although I never attended the party, in hindsight I would probably have dressed as a pharmaceutical sales rep for the mood stabiliser medication that I am currently taking …” (more)

[Alfredo Cumerma, Times Higher Education, 20 January]

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High Prevalence and Poor Awareness of Ireland’s Mental Health Problem Clear in UCD

Posted in Life on November 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Everyone who has attended a third level institution has heard the same mantra, that the years you spend in university will be ‘the best years of your life’. We are fed a certain image of university life, replete with parties, close friendships, and time spent ‘finding yourself’. Of course, what is never shown is the reality of student life for the vast majority of students …” (more)

[Gavin Tracey, University Observer, 3 November]

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Campus confidential: the counsellors on the frontline of the student mental health crisis

Posted in Life on October 28th, 2017 by steve

“I am walking through Nottingham’s Arboretum park on a bright cold afternoon with 10 other people, all of us in complete silence. At first I find the whole thing so awkward I have to suppress an embarrassed laugh. But as we make our wordless way through the dappled shade, I feel an atmosphere of calm and thoughtfulness envelop us like a protective cloak …” (more)

[Moya Sarner, Guardian, 28 October]

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