NUS respond to student mental health funding announcement

NUS respond to student mental health funding announcement

Commenting on the Government's announcement that up to £3 million will be invested in closing the gaps between university and NHS services, NUS UK President Larissa Kennedy said: 

“For years, NUS has lobbied for joined up university and mental health funding; this is a win for students. However, whilst it’s welcome that the Government have listened to us and acknowledged their responsibility for doing more to tackle the student mental health crisis, this support amounts to just roughly £1 per student. That’s a drop in the ocean, and more needs to be done to tackle this problem which is getting worse for students and young people. We know from our research that the majority of students are burdened with anxiety. 

“Students have been completely overlooked by those in power and this broken education system is pushing them to breaking point. We’re hearing from students who can’t even afford to continue getting the bus to therapy sessions. The Government should introduce rent protections, offer basic levels of maintenance support, and announce a cost of living payment for all students. 

"Students have been campaigning for increased funding to university welfare services and culturally competent care for many years now, and although we’ve seen additional funding for institutions as a result of our efforts, there is still so much progress to be made. Universities are not separate from wider society. It is absolutely vital that the Government commits to fully funding the NHS so that waiting lists and costs for mental health services, medication, GP letters and diagnosis tests cease to be a barrier for anyone. The Government must also urgently commit to providing early support hubs which would prevent thousands from reaching crisis point, and additionally remove the pressures of competition, financial barriers and discrimination from our education system so that these issues can be tackled at the root".

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