The stats about students’ mental health and wellbeing are not good. A recent study found that one out of every three university students is feeling mentally burdened, dealing with symptoms of anxiety or depression, or both. This type of psychological distress is also more prevalent among university students than in the general population.
The Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) is the leading expert on student health. However, at present, YTHS lacks the necessary resources to even provide basic services. The need for mental health services, in particular, far exceeds YTHS’s current resources. Addressing the mental health crisis among students requires funding that corresponds to the actual service needs of students.
“Students have to wait an unreasonably long time to access treatment. Long waiting lists increase the burden of care and have a negative impact on academic performance,” emphasizes Jani Risikko, the Social Affairs, well-being and sports representative of JYY’s Board.
In addition to promoting health and academic performance, YTHS’s responsibilities also include promoting the well-being of the student community and environment. With resources insufficient to even address students’ symptoms, it goes without saying that preventative work cannot be invested in sufficiently either.
YTHS urgently needs additional funding! Sufficient funding is required to ensure sustainable well-being and academic performance among students. Graduating from university while mentally distressed or burnt out is not sustainable for anyone.
The parliamentary elections are approaching – the sustainability of students’ well-being requires more resources in the next parliamentary term. It is the responsibility of the welfare state to take care of its students!
The Student Union of Jyväskylä (JYY)