The number of students who have committed suicide in England and Wales has dramatically increased since the beginning of the recession, due to financial pressure and government cutbacks.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show suicides by male students in full-time higher education between 2007 and 2011 soared by 36 percent, from 57 to 78, while female students suicides almost doubled from 18 to 34.
This comes a year after a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RPS) said there was a “pressing need” for increased provision and support for the mental health of students in Britain.
Key recommendations of the RPS included training academics and other university staff to recognize the warning signs of suicide and encouraging General Practitioners (GPs), who are interested in running health services for students, to direct greater attetion to the issue.
The National Union of Students (NUS), has described the increased numbers of suicide as “worrying”.
NUS disabled students’ officer Hannah Paterson said a combination of rising academic and financial pressure on students coupled with recent government cutbacks to university support services could be partly to blame for the situation.