social work student tipsA new ‘Student Guide to Understanding Anxiety’ has been launched by Anxiety UK, along with a specialised Student Support Package to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

Anxiety UK has launched a new guide to understanding anxiety, which is aimed specifically at students after it was reported that an increasing number of students need therapy, due to rising stress and anxiety levels.

The guide offers information and advice to students in higher education who are living with an anxiety-related condition including stress, depression and anxiety.

Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of Anxiety UK, said: “We know that students are often most in need of support 4-6 weeks after starting university.

"Indeed colleagues at the Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary report that they see the highest instances of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, feelings and attempts amongst students at this time. Students often find themselves struggling after the initial ‘honeymoon period’ in higher education due to experiencing issues such homesickness, loneliness and disillusionment with the notion of the ‘university experience’."

A report by the National Union of Students in 2013 stated that 20% of students experience mental health difficulties while at university; but this figure is known to be increasing on an annual basis.

However, this is not solely a university issue; there has been an increase in the general population in common mental health issues such as stress and anxiety, which has placed additional demand on already overstretched NHS services. This, coupled with rising demand for university counselling support services has meant that immediate access to such services for students experiencing anxiety, depression and stress is not possible.

The guide is available to download from the Anxiety UK website: Alongside the guide, Anxiety UK is launching a new student membership offer; one of the benefits of this is to put students in touch with a network of ‘Approved Anxiety UK therapists’ ensuring timely access to support.