Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR166. The Mental Health of Students in Higher Education

Price: £0.00

Approved: Jan 2011

Published: Sep 2011

Status: current

Number of pages: 96

Review by: 2016

Download free PDF version

CR166: The Mental Health of Students in Higher EducationThe demographics of the student population have changed enormously over the past decade. Overall student numbers have grown, more students are entering higher education from socially and culturally-diverse backgrounds, and there are growing numbers of international students. Social changes such as the withdrawal of financial support, higher rates of family breakdown and, more recently, economic recession all have an impact on the mental health and well-being of students. As such, many counsellors and mental health advisors in universities are reporting increased demand from students for their services.


Most higher education institutions have sophisticated pastoral and counselling services in place, however, in many universities the provision of services has not kept pace with expanding student numbers – leaving existing services overstretched. They are supported by local NHS services, although NHS mental health provision for students is variable. The report discusses how the efforts of NHS services and those provided by higher education institutions can be better coordinated.


The report makes a series of 14 key recommendations and provides practical help to those who wish to improve the care and treatment of mentally troubled students. It will assist higher education institutions and others who are seeking to establish policies and procedures for the prevention of mental disorders.


This report updates and replaces report CR112, of the same title, from 2003.


  • Executive summary and recommendations
  • Introduction
  • Mental disorder in students
  • Higher education context
  • Pathways to psychiatric care
  • What to do if a psychiatric patient is moving to university
  • Mental health issues faced by international students
  • Medical and other healthcare students with mental disorder
  • References



  1. Examples of collaboration between the NHS and higher education institutions
  2. Internal liaison within higher education institutions
  3. Different models of psychiatric provision
  4. An account of the work of a university psychiatrist
  5. University general practice – University of Sheffield health service
  6. Initiatives from counselling services
  7. Northampton Assessment Centre form
  8. Universities UK/GuildHE Working Group for the Promotion of Mental Well-Being in Higher Education


Login - Members Area

If you don't have an account please Click here to Register

Make a Donation