College students in Scotland report significant symptoms of depression with more than one-third experiencing food insecurity

The largest study on the mental health and well-being of college students in Scotland has revealed more than one-third (37%) experienced food insecurity in the previous 12 months, according to the report published by the Mental Health Foundation recently.

More than 2000 students from colleges across Scotland participated in the Thriving Learners study which also found that more than half of the students surveyed (54%) reported having moderate, moderately severe or severe symptoms of depression. Among students who have experienced food insecurity, a quarter (25%) had severe symptoms of depression.

Despite the prevalence of mental health problems among the college student population, more than half (55%) said they have concealed a mental health problem due to fear of stigmatisation.

The study is led by the Foundation in partnership with Colleges Scotland and funded by The Robertson Trust. Surveys and qualitative research were undertaken between February and May 2022, before the harshest impacts of the cost of living crisis were taking hold. Yet, at this time one in six students (17%) lived in a household that had run out of food in the past 12 months.

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  • Publish DateThu, 01 Dec 2022
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