The government has announced that first-year university students will be offered training to help overcome the ‘overwhelming’ pressures of starting university.
The programme will aim to advise freshers on how to deal with a number of issues as part of plans currently being developed by a new task force on mental health, reports The Telegraph.
The group was set up after the Department for Education identified four main ‘risk areas’ of university which can affect students' mental health.
Independent Living includes managing finances, moving out of home for the first time and alcohol and drug misuse. Independent Learning focuses on managing workloads and engaging with the academic side of university. Healthy relationships advice will aim to support students in meeting new people, raising awareness of abusive partners, relationship breakdowns and conflicts. Wellbeing will advise on loneliness, the pressures of social media and the drive for ‘perfection' in both work and social life.
Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said moving away from home for the first time to start university can be ‘daunting' for young people.
Mr Hinds said: “Juggling challenges like independent studying or managing finances can be hard enough, but with the added element being in a new place, surrounded by new people it can for some be overwhelming.
“We need to make sure students have the support they need to thrive at university and help these really be the best days of their life.”
The initiative represents a drive by the Department for Education to address the rise in students who report mental health issues while at university, with data released this month showing a rapid rise in the number of students reporting mental health problems.
Figures obtained via freedom of information requests showed a 73 per cent rise between 2014-15 and 2017-18 in students stating that they had a condition such as depression or anxiety before starting their courses.