The Reader: Universities must improve student support

·2-min read

Mental health has been a major issue during the pandemic. Following the tragic death of Finn Kitson, 19, while studying at the University of Manchester, I want to bring change to the way universities deal with mental health support at this tough time.

I would like to help give younger people a voice amid tabloid claims that they are responsible for spreading the virus. This topic needs to be discussed in a much wider context, so young people feel they are not alone; attention is drawn to the dire situation some are in; action to help them can be taken; and, hopefully, more deaths can be prevented. If universities wish to claim that they do not see students solely as sources of income, they must urgently redress and improve their support for students. Otherwise, many more will continue to suffer in silence.
Lucy Collins

Editor's reply

Dear Lucy

You are right to be concerned about the impact of the pandemic on young people. It does feel like they bore the brunt of lockdown, with cancelled exams and a ban on meeting their friends. Now those at university face meeting new people and settling into a new town with the threat of being locked down away from family.

It’s no wonder so many students feel anxious and more needs to be done to help them. It is still important for students to feel they are having a proper “university experience” and support, otherwise they may choose to stay at home.
Anna Davis, Education Editor

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