Mental health services in Scotland’s universities are “completely overwhelmed” as the number of students seeking help soars, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.
It showed that across 10 universities, 14,920 students applied for help with their mental health in 2020/21.
Almost every university reported a sharp increase in the number of mental health support requests.
Based on the available data, the number of people seeking help had also almost tripled compared to 10 years prior.
This includes increases of 242% at the University of Edinburgh and 324% at Edinburgh Napier.
Scottish Labour, which submitted the FOI request, has now urged the Scottish Government to “show the leadership needed and bring together universities and health boards” to deliver effective mental health services.
The party’s mental health spokesperson Carol Mochan said: “There is a full-blown mental health crisis unfolding in our universities, but support remains woeful.
“Too often students are being bounced from pillar to post when they need help, with services completely overwhelmed.
“This problem has been growing for years, and the added stress of the pandemic risks creating a perfect storm.
“The SNP need to show the leadership needed and bring together universities and health boards to deliver the services students need, as well as delivering on their promise to support counselling in our universities.”
The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.