Dear University of Essex,

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

Freedom Of Information Requests, University of Essex

Dear Tilda

Thank you for your enquiry dated 21st November, received by us on the same date concerning student mental health. Your request will be handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within 20 working days.

In the meantime if you have any questions about your request, please let me know.

Best wishes
Clare Chatfield, BA (Hons), PC.foi
Freedom of Information Team
Innovation & Technology Solutions
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester
Essex
CO4 3SQ
 
T +44 (0)1206 872285
E [University of Essex request email]

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Freedom Of Information Requests, University of Essex

Dear Tilda

 

Following your recent enquiry I am writing to let you know that
unfortunately there will be a delay in sending our response to you.  We
are currently working on finalising our response and will update you on
progress shortly.

 

Please accept our apologies for this delay and any inconvenience it may
cause you.

 

Best wishes

Clare Chatfield, BA (Hons), PC.foi

Freedom of Information Team

Innovation & Technology Solutions

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park

Colchester

Essex

CO4 3SQ

 

T +44 (0)1206 872285

E [1][University of Essex request email]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Essex request email]

Freedom Of Information Requests, University of Essex

 

Dear Tilda

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry dated 21^st November, received by us on
the same date concerning student mental health here at the University of
Essex.  Your request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.  Please see our response below:

 

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?

 

Our response to the three questions above is as follows:

 

Following your enquiry above, I have been in touch with colleagues from
our Student Support Office.   They have advised me that unfortunately we
do not record that level of detail in our system.  We do record when a
student has discontinued their studies, and one of the categories that we
use to describe the drivers behind that decision is health problems.  This
will encompass mental, but also physical health.  In order to obtain this
information, we would need to go back to each individual student paper
file and read the paperwork to find out whether mental health problems
were the primary cause of a student’s decision to discontinue their
studies, bearing in mind that such decision are often made in the face of
a variety of issues and there may not be a single issue that provides the
trigger for the decision.

 

We consider that to gather this information would take in excess of the 18
hours which is considered to be the appropriate limit as set out by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is therefore a refusal under Section
12 of the Act – exemption where the costs of compliance exceed the
appropriate limit.

 

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.

 

Unfortunately, due to the changes in our systems and the way that we
record data we are unable to provide you with figures on the number of
students receiving counselling prior to October 2017.  This is therefore
information not held by us.

 

We can, however, provide you with the following figures:

 

-       Between October 2017 and March 2018 61 students received
counselling

-       Between 1^st August 2018 and 31^st July 2019 321 students received
counselling

 

Please note that in 2017-18 the University thoroughly reviewed and
reshaped our Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service and from 2018-19 a
restructured service was implemented.  This was in order to increase the
volume of counselling and the number of students we can offer advice to,
as well as to reduce the waiting time for students to be seen.  As part of
the new service we use an external provider, Validium, for the provision
of our counselling service across all three of our campuses.

 

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

 

Unfortunately, this is not data that we record so this is data not held by
us.  However, we have a report from Validium for October 2018 to September
2019 which shows the top ten primary presenting issues over the last year
as described by the students themselves on assessment by Validium, as
follows:

 

Depression and mood change or disorder

Health – mental

Anxiety

Relationship

Loss

Life Transition

Family/maternity/children

Academic

Bereavement

Other mental health conditions

 

I apologise for the slight delay in getting this to you.

 

I hope you find this information useful but if you have any questions
about the data, please let me know.  You would also be welcome to contact
our Comms Team on 01206 872400 and I have copied them into this email so
that they are aware of your interest.

 

Best wishes

Clare Chatfield, BA (Hons), PC.foi

Freedom of Information Team

Innovation & Technology Solutions

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park

Colchester

Essex

CO4 3SQ

 

T +44 (0)1206 872285

E [1][University of Essex request email]

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Essex request email]