The number of university workers accessing counselling and occupational health services has shot up, according to research which describes “an epidemic” of poor mental health among higher education staff. Freedom of information requests revealed that at one university, staff referrals to counselling services went up more than 300% over a six-year period up to 2015 while, at another, referrals to occupational health soared by more than 400%. There has been growing awareness of the crisis in student mental health in recent years, but attention is increasingly turning to staff in universities, many of whom are said to be “at breaking point”. According to the study, based on data from 59 universities, there has been a 316% increase in access to counselling services at the University of Warwick, a 292% increase at Kent, 172% at Brunel, 126% at Newcastle and 88% at Bristol. While there were some cases of rates of referrals going down, at Bath and Manchester for example, overall referrals of staff to occupational health services showed a similar upward trajectory, up 424% at the University of Kent which saw the number of referrals rise from just over 70 to a little under 400. At Cambridge, referrals went up… Read full this story
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