**Former head teacher Sir Anthony Seldon, who is now in charge at the University of Birmingham, has warned of an epidemic of mental illness among students. The Metro reported this morning that Sir Anthony said the number of suicides is at an all-time high with 134 reported in universities just last year, and he says it's because, 'undergraduates arrive ill-prepared to cope with exam stress because schools fail to teach them the skills they need.' He added, 'by the time young people get to university, in some ways it's too late.' At the University of Bristol, at least four students have killed themselves just since the start of this academic year.
Sir Anthony said, 'we should be doing much more at school teaching successful interventions to help them cope without pills'. Student wellbeing is at the top of many universities' priority lists right now, with more than 100 institutions taking part last week in an event that aimed to help the 29 percent of students who reportedly experience clinical levels of psychological stress. The organisers believe that excessive drinking, poor diet, lack of sleep and lack of exercise among students are partly to blame for the rise in mental illness. Sir Anthony believes that volunteering and physical activity are better ways of relieving stress than taking drugs and partying. Of course, many students' problems run far deeper than a need for fresh air; if you feel like you are having problems with your mental health, you should seek help from your doctor, a helpline, or your university immediately.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.