Study on Mental Health among University Students reveals unsettling data
A study to evaluate Mental Health among University students was coordinated by the University of Évora and supported by CHRC. Professor Lara Guedes de Pinho from the Department of Nursing at Escola Superior de São João de Deus and CHRC researcher presented the data collected through a survey that was made available to the students.
This study counts with the involvement of seven portuguese higher education institutions and ten from seven different countries (Europe and South America). On October 10 of 2022, on the World Mental Health Day, data collection for this study began by providing a questionnaire to several university students. The adherence was excellent, bearing in mind that the portuguese sample alone gathered 3143 responses.
“The study was carried out because entering higher education is a complex transition. Additionally, international studies indicate that young people were the ones who suffered the most changes in mental health during the pandemic period, so we felt the need to carry out a diagnosis of the situation in higher education, in order to subsequently develop programs to promote mental health in an academic environment” said Lara Guedes de Pinho to the Communication Division of the University of Évora.
After evaluating the collected data, the study conclusion demonstrates unsettling results. The percentage of confirmation for mental health problems among university students proved to be quite high. The indicators whose results show disturbing values are symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety, symptoms of depression, fatigue, low energy and changes in sleep patterns.
Another issue was verified. A large percentage of students with mental health problems are using drug treatments and don’t have a proper professional follow-up. 23% of the participants take medication for anxiety, depression, insomnia or another psychological problem, but only half had access to psychiatric appointments.
“Through the answears of the participants, the most important reasons for not seeking help is the fact that professional help is expensive (58.5%) and the long waiting time to get an appointment in the public health sector (50.2%). Knowing this fact, it’s important to change mental health policies, reinforcing the SNS with sufficient human resources capable to respond to the needs of the population, not only in promoting mental health and disease prevention, which is incumbent on primary health care, but also in the psychosocial rehabilitation of the person with the disease.” - highlighted Lara Guedes de Pinho.
To learn more concrete data of this study, you can access to the article provided by the University of Évora: https://www.uevora.pt/ue-media/noticias?item=37049