73% of UK Students Unsatisfied With University Mental Health Support | Top Universities

73% of UK Students Unsatisfied With University Mental Health Support

By Chloe Lane

Updated March 12, 2021 Updated March 12, 2021

Only 27 percent of UK students feel that their university provides adequate mental health support, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2020, released today.

The study surveyed 2,806 university students living in the UK in June 2020 and found that Southampton was the best UK student city for prioritizing mental health support. 

Southampton leads the way with prioritizing mental health

Southampton Docks

According to the study, Southampton is currently the best student city in the UK when it comes to prioritizing students’ mental health. Just under half (49 percent) of the city’s students agreed that Southampton provides adequate support for mental health.

The next best student cities for supporting mental health were Nottingham at 40 percent and Aberdeen at 38 percent.

Despite this, these universities still have a long way to go before 100 percent of students are satisfied with their mental health provisions.

On the other end of the scale, Norwich scored the worst in the UK, with only 12 percent of Norwich’s students saying they were satisfied with the city’s wellbeing support.

Coventry and Swansea also performed badly, with approval ratings of 15 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Unaffordable wellness programs for students


Students have spent less overall on self-care and wellbeing activities this year, despite the added stresses of a global pandemic, NatWest revealed.

UK students spent an average of £12 each month on self-care and wellness activities in 2020, the study found, which is down by 14 percent from last year.

One explanation may be the lack of affordable wellbeing activities in student cities. Only 58 percent of students claimed to have access to affordable wellbeing programs at university, according to NatWest’s study, a drop of 13 percent from last year.

The index found that the most affordable UK city for wellness is Edinburgh, where 80 percent of students were satisfied with the price of the city’s wellness activities.

In second place is Southampton, which also performed well. An impressive 75 percent of students said they were satisfied with the affordability of wellbeing programs provided.

The cities where students claimed to have the least affordable access to health and wellbeing activities were Coventry (46 percent) Poole (39 percent) and Swansea (38 percent).

Where do students feel most stressed about their studies?

Stressed students

Students at Southampton were least likely to find their studies stressful, according to the study. Only 29 percent of students in Southampton said that they were stressed about their university work.

Interestingly, the three cities with the least affordable access to wellbeing activities, Coventry, Poole and Swansea, had high numbers of students feeling stressed about their degree studies. All three placed above the national average.

This suggests that access to affordable wellbeing programs and the level of stress students feel about their degree may be interlinked, although this was not proved.

This article was originally published in July 2020 . It was last updated in March 2021

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