Dear Imperial College London,

Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you provide me with some information about student mental health.

Across the University, what was the number of students, broken down for each academic year between 2008-9 and 2018-19, who intermitted for specifically mental health issues?

Of these students who intermitted, how many each year returned to the University to resume their studies one year after intermitting?

Of these students who intermitted, how many each year never returned to the University to resume their studies?

Please could you also provide me with the number of students, broken down for each academic year between 2008- 9 and 2018- 19, who have accessed counselling services provided by the university. If possible, please provide a breakdown of the types of issue the students are seeking help for.

Please could you provide me with this information in an excel spreadsheet.

If you need any clarification then please do not hesitate to contact me. Under Section 16 it is your duty to provide advice and assistance and so I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.

Yours faithfully,

Tilda Coleman

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Ms Coleman,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below, made under the Freedom of Information Act. The College will respond to your request by 17th December 2019.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team
Imperial College London

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IMPFOI, Imperial College London

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Coleman

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request, relating to mental health.

Mental health support is available to students from a number of different departments including the Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service, the Disability Advisory Service, the Students’ Union, and the Imperial College Health Centre (an NHS GP surgery on the College campus). It is also provided by others involved in pastoral care including the wardening teams, and students’ personal tutors.

Students may access these services as they so choose.

The specific services within the College’s remit include:

• The Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service who deal with a range of issues. Staff include two specialist Student Mental Health Advisers, who support students experiencing mental health difficulties. They also offer a source of information and advice for other staff at the College who are supporting students with mental health difficulties. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/counselling/

• The Disability Advisory Service who deal with a range of disabilities including long term mental health and developmental issues. The team also includes a Study Mentor who deals primarily with students with mental health issues and Asperger’s Support (AS) students, and an AS Facilitator. The service also includes three Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) Tutors. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/disability-ad...

• The Hall Wardens provide pastoral support for students in Halls of Residence. Each Hall also has a welfare room to accommodate students with various short term issues. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/student-suppo...

All of the above may refer students to the NHS Health Centre based at the College’s South Kensington campus. The College liaises closely with NHS mental health services. The College also funds a Life Coach, psychodynamic therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based at the Health Centre.

In addition, each undergraduate student has a Personal Tutor, co-ordinated by a departmental Senior Tutor. For Taught Postgraduate students, support is provided by either a Personal Tutor or, for small courses, the Course Director. Each Research Postgraduate student has a supervisor and a mentor or in some cases two supervisors. Postgraduate support in departments is co-ordinated by a Postgraduate Tutor. Each academic department also has a Departmental Disability Officer. Each service department (e.g. the Library, ICT, Registry), has a Disability Liaison Officer. Training is available for recognising mental health issues.

The College has over 350 trained Mental Health First Aiders across the College, who undertake this work alongside their main roles, and many student-facing staff have pastoral responsibilities which will include offering mental health support. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/health-and-we...

In addition, a number of mental health awareness events have taken place focussing on engaging students in thinking about their own mental health and the mental health of others. These events include:

• Mental Health Awareness events to promote the work of Nightline
• National Stress Awareness day
• Mental Health Awareness week

The Student Support Zone webpages contain detailed information about the range of support available to students. These are available here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/student-suppo...

Please find below the College’s response to your specific questions.

"...what was the number of students, broken down for each academic year between 2008-9 and 2018-19, who intermitted for specifically mental health issues?"

The College records a variety of reasons for interruptions of study, including Health, Personal Reasons, and Other. The College does not have Mental Health as a separate category. For this reason the College is unable to provide reliable interruption of study figures specifically relating to mental health issues.

To attempt to do so it would be necessary to manually check the files of students who had interrupted their studies, to attempt to determine whether they had interrupted their studies for mental health reasons. Such an outside determination may or may not reflect what the student originally intended.

Furthermore, conducting such a manual check on ten years’ worth of interruptions of study would take in excess of 18 hours of work and is therefore exempt under Section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act. Section 12 states that “Section 1 (1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit (under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004).” The appropriate limit is set at 18 hours.

"Of these students who intermitted, how many each year returned to the University to resume their studies one year after intermitting?
Of these students who intermitted, how many each year never returned to the University to resume their studies?"

Not applicable.

"Please could you also provide me with the number of students, broken down for each academic year between 2008- 9 and 2018- 19, who have accessed counselling services provided by the university."

The numbers of people who have attended an appointment with the Student Counselling Service are shown below

2008/09: 358
2009/10: 366
2010/11: 392
2011/12: 441
2012/13: 506
2013/14: 540
2014/15: 608
2015/16: 716
2016/17: 874
2017/18: 971
2018/19: 1089

The numbers of people who have attended an appointment with the Student Mental Health Advice Service are shown below:

2008/09 to 2015/16: Not applicable – the separate dedicated service for Student Mental Health Advice began in 2016/17.
2016/17: 133
2017/18: 164
2018/19: 228

"If possible, please provide a breakdown of the types of issue the students are seeking help for."

Please see the attached spreadsheet, which shows the percentages of students who declare a particular issue as their reason for accessing the Service, between 2013/14 and 2018/19.

As advised above, the separate dedicated service for Student Mental Health Advice began in 2016/17, and so there are no figures for this element prior to this date.

Percentages of 5% or lower, including 0%, have been replaced by an asterisk. This is because individuals may otherwise be identifiable from the data. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act.

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled your request, you can ask us to conduct a review. Please make your representation in writing within 40 days of the date you received this response. If you remain dissatisfied with how Imperial College has handled your request you may then approach the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team
Imperial College London

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