Poor mental health is rife amongst young people, yet resources are stretched, leaving young people to deal with an illness that is overwhelmingly hard.
YouGov has revealed that 27% of students have reported having problems with their mental health. The report (from 2016) states that 47% of these students have difficulty with some daily tasks, with 4% saying that they cannot fulfill simple needs. If we look wider into Welsh statistics from Mental Health in Wales 2016, the lack of resources for young people and adolescents is apparent. The service CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Wales) has seen a 100% increase in demand in the last four years.
A 2016 study by the Mental Health Foundation has claimed that £200.87pp was spent by the Welsh Assembly on mental health from 2012-2013. Only £13.94 of this was spent on young people, resulting in the formation of the Mental Health Delivery Plan in 2016-2019 which aims to improve mental health services in Wales over ten years.
Although, the situation does seem to be improving with Education Secretary Kirsty Williams and Health Secretary Vaughan Gething launching a pilot scheme to improve the quality of student mental health in Welsh schools. They have promised an investment of £14m to strengthen CAMHS.
Within Swansea University, the Wellbeing centre is struggling with the demand of students needing counselling and appointments. Counselling services offered by Wellbeing have been outsourced to The Exchange. If you are on Bay Campus these services are only available from Monday to Thursday (unless you wish to contact them by phone or email).
Any mental health issue is a complex illness to treat but it is apparent that funding is not being spent wisely to benefit those in a vulnerable stage in life. This affects adolescents in Wales and students at our university. It is important that we keep increasing the awareness of the suffering that students and young people endure whilst tackling their mental illness, as they often struggle alone due to the already stretched system of support available. Whilst support is improving, Wales still has a long way to go.
The Wellbeing service