Survey shows that 3 out of 10 students suffer from serious mental conditions

50,054 students participated in the so-called ‘completely honest survey’, officially known as Students’ Health and Well-being Survey (SHoT). The results are concerning.

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Last Wednesday, the results from the Students’ Health and Well-being Survey (SHoT) were published. It showed a substantial increase in the number of students who have claimed to suffer from serious mental health problems.

“What we’re going to present here isn’t good news”, Kari Jussie Lønning said onstage at Frokostkjellern, located at the Law Faculty.

She has led the management team that conducted the SHoT-Survey in 2018.

Self-harm and suicidal thoughts

According to the survey, 29% of the students reported to have “serious psychological symptoms”.

The last time the survey was conducted in 2014, 19% of the students were said to exhibit serious psychological symptoms. The number has increased by 10% since then.

Of these students who suffer, 1 out of 5 said they have harmed themselves before and equally many admitted that they have seriously considered committing suicide.

“This is a serious problem, especially given that the situation has gotten so much worse since 2010 and 2014”, Håkon Randgaarden Mikalsen, leader of the Norwegian Student Organisation (NSO) said, sharing his concerns.

In addition, 29% of the students answered that they often or very often feel lonely.

See also: In this course, 9 out of 10 failed

“First and foremost, It’s sad”

After presenting the results, a panel debate followed. The participants were Mikalsen, the leader of NSO; Iselin Nybø, Minister of Education; Camilla Stoltenberg, director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; and Kari Jussie Lønning.

“First and foremost, it’s sad, and a serious problem. It’s about us, our peers, and it’s going the wrong way”, Mikalsen commented.

Minister Nybø, on the other hand, tried to look on the bright side.

“The vast majority are happy and doing fine. Of course, we must work preventatively as well as introduce new initiatives, and it’s important to follow up this issue professionally”, she stated during the debate.

Exam anxiety and insomnia

The survey also asked students about academic performance, physical health, sleep, and much more.

One of the findings indicates that a third of the students have had numerous health issues the week before they took the survey.

Almost half of the students also claimed to have suffered much or very much from exam anxiety.

“We need a good health service, and we must also make sure the good local preventative work has the resources they need”, Mikalsen emphasised.

He thinks the survey results are disheartening.

“Students should have a safe and good daily life at all institutions. Unfortunately, this survey shows otherwise”, he added.

The survey also asked questions about sleep for the first time. The results show that 31% of the students fulfill the formal criteria to be diagnosed with insomnia.

Also check out the survey results showing little interaction between Norwegian students and internationals

Dangerous levels of alcohol consumption

In the last survey, SHoT results indicated a decrease in the number of students who reported to have misused alcohol in a risky or damaging way. This year, the number has gone up.

Almost half of the students (44%) who have responded to the survey exhibited a dangerous or harmful level of alcohol consumption.

In addition, 27% have reported to have used drugs.

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