The Welsh government's announcement for a further £2 million to enhance student mental health services at universities in Wales comes at a “critical time”, BACP has said. 

The funding was announced today – on University Mental Health Day – and has been provided to improve support for students and staff.

BACP has welcomed the investment and hopes it will be used to support embedded counselling services for students.

Without easy access to services, students may leave problems untreated.

This can lead to an increase in the number of students leaving their studies prematurely or can lead to longstanding mental health issues requiring the need for expensive specialist or emergency mental health services. 

There is robust evidence that counselling decreases psychological distress in students – data shows that 75% of students had ‘improved’ or ‘recovered’ following counselling.

Research based on data from over 5,500 students from 65 UK universities and FE colleges found that counselling helped:

  • 81% of students stay at university or college;
  • 79% do better in their academic work;
  • 83% improve their overall experience of being at university or college;
  • 78% of students develop employability skills.

John Cowley, BACP Vice President who was Head of Counselling, Health and Wellbeing at Cardiff University for 20 years:

"The Welsh Government's £2 million investment comes at a critical time.

"Demand for existing services has never been higher and we are aware that some institutions in Wales have been forced to cut back on mental health provision, as part of wider cost cutting measures.

"We would like to see this investment being used to sure up existing in-house counselling provision for students, building on BACP's ongoing student mental health campaign.

"World-class universities need world- class counselling and mental health support, there must be no compromise when it comes to our young people.”

Read more: 'Counselling helps students in distress access opportunities at university'