Date lodged: 2 May 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that the number of students seeking counselling has increased in recent years; what assistance it provides to the students seeking this, and how it supports colleges and universities in providing adequate facilities.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2017
The Scottish Government would encourage everyone in society, including our students, to come forward to seek help with mental health issues. We want to create a Scotland where all stigma and discrimination related to mental health is challenged, and our collective understanding of how to prevent and treat mental health problems is increased.
We support institutions and individual students in a number of ways. For example, we provide direct funding to colleges and universities, including through the Extended Learning Support fund and the Disabled Students Premium, to help them support students with a range of mental health issues, disabilities and additional learning needs.
Individual students in Higher Education, experiencing mental health difficulties, who require additional support can also apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland for funding through the Disabled Students' Allowance.
The Scottish Government currently funds the National Union of Students Scotland’s, 'Think Positive' campaign to bring student associations and their institutions together in a formal agreement to work jointly on mental health issues on campus.
Our Mental Health Strategy, which was launched recently, contains an action to support the further development of ‘Think Positive’ and ensure consistent support for students across Scotland.