Hanley calls for greater mental health supports for students

Soc Dem councillor critical of 'lack of supports given to third level students across the board'

Social Democrats councillor Owen Hanley.

Social Democrats councillor Owen Hanley.

NUI Galway and the GMIT need to put more resources into mental health support structures for students, and must recognise that students "suffer from incredible pressures" that is putting their mental health "at risk".

This is the view of Social Democrats councillor Owen Hanley, who was speaking following the Union of Students in Ireland's National Report on Student Mental Health, which has just been published.

The report shows that nearly one third of college students had a formal diagnosis of a mental health difficulty, while 38 per cent experience severe anxiety, 30 per cent severe depression, and 17 per cent severe stress.

'The housing crisis continues to disproportionately affect students who are vulnerable to abusive living conditions and extortionate rates'

Cllr Hanley is critical of what he calls, "the lack of supports being given to third level students across the board", and he called on the third level institutions in Galway to "put more resources" into mental health support structures. "We need to start taking mental health much more seriously," he said, "and students represent an important element within that discourse."

Cllr Hanley outlined some of the factors contributing to mental health issues among students. "The housing crisis continues to disproportionately affect students who are vulnerable to abusive living conditions and extortionate rates in a mad scramble to find housing," he said. "We also have a drug misuse culture in our city. All of this needs mature, progressive, conversations lead by students to come to bettering their quality of life."

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