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Challenging stigma around mental health at Sussex and BSMS

To coincide with Time to Change's Time to Talk day on Thursday February 4th 2016, the Students' Union is publishing findings from last year's student mental health and well-being survey.

This follows up from a previous survey in 2013, looking at students' personal experiences of and attitudes towards mental health, and their opinions on the support available to students at Sussex.

Of nearly 300 Sussex students responded to the survey during 2015, just under 78% who arrived at University with a mental health issue did not declare this when applying to study at Sussex or BSMS, Over 3% more than in 2013. Further to this, almost half of all respondents said they would do nothing/stuggle on if they felt mental health issues were affecting their studies. In 2013, the total who said this was closer to two-fifths.

Only 27.4% of survey respondents with some personal experience of mental health issues felt adequately supported during their time at Sussex. A fall of nearly 22% since the last survey.

Read the summary in full

Rianna, Welfare Officer, has been working closely with Time to Change on the survey and campaigning on issues surrounding mental health provision at Sussex. She said:

Rianna, Welfare OfficerThe findings of this survey show both the Students' Union and the University still have a long way to go. Student dissatisfaction with mental health services on campus is widespread; these services are often under-staffed and under-resourced, in particular the Psychological and Counselling Service (PCS).

These findings replicate the same concerns I receive regularly from students. For example, the current wait for an initial interview for the counselling service is around four weeks.

Myself and the students involved in our Time to Change campaign are working to improve attitudes towards mental health and helping students feel able to seek out support, however, while the University prioritises growing student numbers over increasing provision for essential services, this is difficult. The University needs to commit to placing student welfare above profit.

Find out more about the Time to Change campaign at Sussex and how you can end mental health discrimination on campus and beyond.

Time to talk day promotional banner

Time to Talk Day will take place on Thursday 4th February 2016. The aim is to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. By joining together on one day, we can break the silence that often surrounds mental health, and show that talking about this once-taboo issue doesn’t need to be difficult (via time-to-change.org.uk).


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