46% of Cambridge students Depressed

We asked, and you responded – in startling numbers. Nearly half of the Cambridge student population are suffering from depression, a Tab survey shows.

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Nearly half of Cambridge students are suffering from depression or think that they may be, a Tab survey shows.

To break this down, 21% of students have been diagnosed with depression, whilst a further 25% believe that they may be suffering from the mental illness.

We asked, and you responded – in startling numbers. The results come from last term’s Mental Health Survey, to which there were 1,749 responses – that’s 15% of undergrads in Cambridge.

Depression is most common amongst English students, with a shocking 60% of students affected. Of these, 40% have been diagnosed by a doctor, with a further 20% suffering undiagnosed.

The statistics showed that Philosophy students are also heavily affected, with 57% of students depressed, 38% of whom have been diagnosed.

The least common sufferers of depression are those studying Engineering (34% diagnosed and undiagnosed).

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The results of the survey show a significant difference between genders, with more female sufferers of depression (49% to 41%) and panic attacks (17% to 8%).

Eating disorders are also more prevalent amongst women, with a full 11% of the female Cantab population suffering from diagnosed depression. A further 12% are suffering in silence.

6% of male respondents have eating disorders, but only 1% of these are diagnosed.

In terms of colleges, Trinity and Homerton appear to have unusually high rates of depression, whilst it is least common amongst respondents from Christ’s and Jesus.

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The survey also investigates which sources of support are most frequently used.

Friends and family are the most common sources of comfort for sufferers of mental illnesses of all types. The University Counselling Service (UCS) is also often used, but only 7% of respondents admitted to having sought support from a college counsellor.

For a more detailed statistical analysis of the results, click here.

In response to the survey’s findings, the University told The Tab:

“Mental health and depression are significant issues within any student body, as the recent NUS national survey has shown, and the University of Cambridge and its colleges take them very seriously.

“Collegiate Cambridge provides a level of support both to mitigate stress and tackle depression that is unparalleled in most other universities. 

“We would be very disappointed and concerned if this flawed polemic misled students needing and seeking help into not asking for it.  The Collegiate University is always keen to improve the support it provides for students where it reasonably can.

“To that end we would be happy to talk to student representatives about concerns that they believe may arise from this survey.” 

You can read the full statement here.