50% rise in students seeking counselling for mental health problems

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There has been a 50% rise in the number of students receiving counselling for mental health problems in the past decade.

Almost 12,000 students sought counselling in the last academic year, up from about 6,000 in 2010.

That is according to data compiled by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland.

Anxiety accounted for half of all such referrals last year.

President of the UCC Students Union and mental health advocate, Alan Hayes, says the figures are not surprising.

He said: "There's a growing awareness of mental health and student are becoming aware and less stigmatised around mental health in a lot of senses.

"There's also huge pressures linked to social media, personal and family expectations over your academic success, so your really looking at putting a lot of pressure on ourselves."

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