Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comments by Ali Bee

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  • What can be done? I see both sides of this situation, as I am the parent of a young person who experienced a psychotic illness (over a year’s duration) and is now a student, and I am also a university teacher and personal tutor. A couple of my students are suffering from serious depression and anxiety, which prevents them from attending classes or studying effectively. If they seek counselling, they spend a long time on a waiting list, as the counselling service is very under-staffed. They tend to get pushed towards GPs, who are quick to prescribe SSRIs, even though these can be risky for young people. Although I am familiar with some of their symptoms and medications, I have been told not to over-step my professional role in the support I offer them. I am afraid that they are at risk, without proper care or support, running up debt at university for no good reason. At the same time, I know from my daughter’s experience that inclusion in the community is a crucial part of recovery … My daughter is setting up a student-run group for people with anxiety, which seems like a really good idea. This is the only hope I can see – for students to self-organise and provide what universities are lacking …