The number of students seeking mental health support while studying at university has increased by more than 50% in five years, research suggests.
The BBC analysis of data from 83 universities found that between 2012 and 2017 the number of students seeking help rose from 50,900 to 78,100.
The number of students going to university dropped slightly over the same period, while budgets towards mental health services increased by more than 40%.
Eva Crossan Jory, vice president of the National Union of Students, said the growth in demand for mental health services over the last decade is in part because the reality of studying in the UK has changed so much.
“Many are balancing work, study and caring responsibilities. With fees so high, and the job market so competitive, students feel they have to continually push themselves, perhaps more so than before,” she added.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said university should be demanding and disorientating, and with that should come adequate pastoral care for students.
“This does not mean mollycoddling or cushioning students from the experiences that are part and parcel of university life, it means making sure support services are available if they need them,” Gyimah explained.