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One in three higher education students is mentally burdened

The results of the national Finnish Student Health and Wellbeing Survey (Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden terveys- ja hyvinvointitutkimus, KOTT) was published this week.

The study is used to investigate higher education students’ physical and mental health, lifestyle, perceived wellbeing, and social relations and the factors affecting these, and the students’ ability to study and related support needs. The study produces comprehensive and regular data on the welfare of students – no other study provides this information.

According to results, one in three higher education students suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression. Students displayed proportionally more mental health symptoms and psychological distress than the adult population as a whole.

Highlights of the study according to Finnish institute for health and welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos,THL) are:

  • One in three university students was mentally stressed, i.e. suffering from anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. As many as 40 per cent of women studying at universities and universities of applied sciences reported mental strain.
  • Among women, both depression and anxiety disorders were more common than in men.
  • One in six higher education students was at risk of developing an eating disorder. 26 per cent of women and 8 per cent of men were at risk.
  • Nearly half of the higher education students had exercise during the pandemic per the health exercise recommendation. Students aged 30–34 achieved the weakest health exercise recommendation.
  • Women experienced more daytime fatigue than men. One in ten students said their night sleeps were too short due to internet use.
  • One in four female students and one in three male students said they did not feel they belonged to any of the study-related groups.
  • The experience of not belonging to a study-related group was almost double for students over the age of 25 compared to students younger than them.
Source of the picture: KOTT 2021 survey, THL and Kela

Our umbrella organization University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland – SAMOK expressed their opinion by statement “Universities need to improve their support services to promote student well-being”

SAMOK’s President of the Board Oona Löytänen says: “Students need low-threshold support and assistance to maintain their ability to study. Each higher education institution must provide such support services that, together with the care provided by FSHS, students complete their studies and enter working life as well.”

The full article is in Finnish. You can read the article from here.

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