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Days after the Federal Government announced a university student fee hike, a national report has found students have higher rates of mental health problems than non-students, and being loaded with debt doesn't help. The report by the National Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health, Orygen, lists some key reasons why university students struggle with mental health. They include lack of sleep, poor diet, being away from family, feelings of isolation among international students, academic pressure, uncertain graduate employment, and financial stress.
To summarize: higher fees and job anxiety is creating student stress.
Among other recommendations, Orygen is calling on the Government to extend its youth mental health programs to university students. "Currently government-funded mental health education programs are not being extended past secondary schools," Vivienne Brown said.
"We believe that given young people 18-25 most at risk of an onset of mental illness it doesn't make sense these education programs aren't being extended."
The student to counselor ratio in Australia is a lot higher than in the United States - about 4,340 students per counselor compared to 1,527 per counselor. A 2016 study found no large Australian university has enough counselors to meet international or ANZSSA recommendations.