At least 39 ambulances have been called to unis for suicide and self-harm this term
The figure is already over half of last academic year’s
Ambulances have been called to university campuses for suicide, suicide attempts, and self-harm at least 39 times this term.
The figure is already over half of last academic year’s, with just one of three terms passed – meaning the number of students taken to hospital for these reasons is on track to exceed 2019-20, stats obtained by The Tab can reveal.
At Essex alone, eight students have been taken to hospital because of self-harm or attempted suicide this term.
Beyond students speaking out about struggling and a handful of widely-covered deaths, the current student mental health crisis is one that’s hard to grasp the true scale of.
With most unis not counting how many students take their own lives, this record of ambulance callouts serves as a hint at the real extent of the crisis happening right now.
The Tab’s You Matter campaign is reporting on the student mental health crisis this term.
And yet, the true figure is likely to be substantially higher, as most unis hold no record of how often paramedics come to campus to treat a student.
At Manchester, two ambulances have been called this term for attempted suicides and one for a possible suicide.
At Leeds, that number is six. At UEA, it’s three, at Sussex, two. At Warwick and Nottingham, the number was between one and four – with the exact figure withheld for privacy reasons.
In total, 42 of the 63 universities contacted by The Tab responded. Just 13 of those 42 held figures.
The information provided, obtained by The Tab through Freedom of Information requests, is based on security report information provided by unis. In most cases it only includes ambulances called to campus by uni staff – and so excludes those called to student houses and by people other than uni staff.
Those who didn’t know include Lancaster, where a student was hospitalised for a suicide attempt after being moved to an empty halls.
We also asked those same universities how many students have died by suicide this term. Over half of the unis to respond don’t count. At those that do, there have been at least three confirmed suicides this term, at unis you don’t often hear about: There has been at least one suicide at both Imperial College London and Derby, and one at Kingston.
Yet, again, the true number is likely much higher – in 2019, 182 students died by suicide in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Tab’s You Matter campaign is putting a focus on student mental health right now. If you’ve got a story you’d like to tell us – whether it’s difficulties with getting uni support, or anything you think we should hear, get in touch in confidence by emailing [email protected]
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) on 0800 58 58 58.