Tuesday 24 October 2017

Over one-third of students feel down every day

36pc of students said they felt down on a weekly basis, while just over 12pc experienced such feelings once a month
36pc of students said they felt down on a weekly basis, while just over 12pc experienced such feelings once a month

Jane O'Faherty

More than one-third of Irish students feel down every day and most of them find ­comfort in eating, according to new ­figures from the Union of ­Students in Ireland (USI).

Almost as many students (36pc) said they felt down on a weekly basis, while just over 12pc experienced such feelings once a month.

The representative body for students also revealed almost 43pc said feeling isolated and hopeless was the worst thing about these lows.

Indulging in cake, ­chocolate and crisps was the most ­common coping mechanism for students at nearly 24pc, followed by ­chatting with friends (18pc) and engaging in hobbies (13pc).

One in five respondents said being told to "man up" when feeling low was the worst thing someone could say to them. However, 83pc agreed that talking to someone helped them feel better. The USI has launched its 'Chats for Change' campaign, which aims to encourage young people to speak out about their mental health.

The campaign will visit ­Dublin Institute of ­Technology, NUI Maynooth, Athlone ­Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork this week.

As part of the campaign, "tea packs" with tips on how to deal with negative feelings will be delivered to campuses across the country.

Kevin Donoghue, President of the USI, said the campaign showed an "alarming percentage" of students struggled with their mental health.

"It shows the fragility of the mind when it's faced with multiple strains such as exam and financial stresses," he added.

Annie Howie, USI Vice President, said "year-on-year" cuts to support services could also adversely affect well-being.

Irish Independent

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