It takes more than a fortnight to get a face to face counselling session at Sussex Uni

‘Any body who has suffering from mental health issues will understand that support, when needed, is needed urgently’

The University of Sussex claim the average waiting time for a student to be assessed by the Student Life Centre is between two and three days.

After the initial assessment has taken place a face to face appointment, following this consultation, takes over two weeks.

However, per The Sussex Tab investigating mental health services earlier this week, we were unable to attain a first time consultation for seven consecutive days. This means a student may have to wait as long as a week for an initial consultation, then two weeks more before they actually see anyone.

Luke*, a 22-year-old Master’s student at the University of Sussex, spoke exclusively to The Sussex Tab about the declining mental health amongst students at Sussex University. They said: “I don’t know a student who’s mental health hasn’t been impacted this year because of the pandemic. When reports of student suicides are at a scary frequency. Sussex’s failing mental health services are shameful.

“Considering that they’re taking hundreds of thousands of our student fees annually, I am disgraced that the senior management of Sussex have not done more to properly fund the mental health services on campus.

“Students feel imprisoned in their accommodation, paying thousands to sit at a computer screen; the very least the university could do is ensure every student is able to access the urgent mental health support they need. Any body who has suffering from mental health issues will understand that support, when needed, is needed urgently. I truly believe that making students who need critical support wait up to three weeks is incredibly dangerous. Student suicides are a very real concern that should be at the forefront of senior managements’ agenda.”

Luke continued: “I hope senior management are losing sleep, knowing they take home extortionate salaries, their students are suffering immensely due to underfunded mental health support.”

Sussex University have suggested alternatives to students who cannot successfully book an immediate appointment through the Student Life Centre, despite how urgent it is. The university has suggested using the Silver Cloud app or there are group sessions available, which can reportedly be accessed more quickly.