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Students Secure £3.21 Million of ‘Vital’ Mental Health Funding

Announcement Comes After Months of Rallies, Petitions and Letters

By Clive Davies

Photo provided by AUSA

Graeme Dey, the Minister for Further and Higher Education has confirmed an additional £3.21 million to extend mental health support for the upcoming academic year for colleges and universities across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting students with their mental health and wellbeing, and over the past four years we have supported institutions to introduce more than 80 extra counsellors to help their students.”, Dey said in a letter to AUSA.

Funding for mental health counsellors in colleges and universities was set to conclude at the end of the 2022/23 academic year, but an additional year of funding has been secured after almost a year of campaigning.

Sai Shraddha S. Viswanathan, AUSA’s VP for Welfare said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the Scottish Government has listened to the hundreds of students who have campaigned for this funding to be preserved.

Students across the north of Scotland have been campaigning for months to ensure that they don’t lose these essential services.

With inflation at record levels, a cost-of-living crisis in full effect and increased pressure on students’ mental health, the removal of this funding would have been catastrophic and impacted upon thousands of students.

We would like to thank the Scottish Government for listening to our students and recognising how important this is.

We would also like to thank every single student who signed a petition, wrote a letter, attended a rally and campaigned to make this happen.”

Ellie Gomersall, the President of NUS Scotland said:

“Mental health counsellors in colleges and universities are a lifeline for students, who would otherwise have to wait months or even years to access mental health support through our underfunded NHS.

I am extremely pleased that we have won this vital funding. It is a testament to what students can achieve when we work collectively.

There is still more to be done to create a system that prioritises students’ mental health, but this is a huge win for students who rely on these lifeline services.

We are looking forward to working with the Scottish Government to make sure that student mental health is at the centre of all work done by colleges and universities going forward, including tackling the student poverty, which is a major cause of the student mental health crisis.”


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