Nearly half of Bristol postgraduates experience symptoms of depression


By Benjamin Salmon, Deputy News Editor

Taught postgraduate students experience poorer mental health when compared to undergraduates, the University’s wellbeing survey has revealed.

The annual Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey, conducted in May 2019, has revealed that 48% of postgraduate students still being taught experience ‘moderate to severe depressive symptoms’.

This represents a 7-point increase on the previous year’s findings, in which 41% exhibited that response.

In the same survey, it was shown that 38% of postgraduate students experience ‘moderate to severe anxiety symptoms’, which is down from 41% the year before.

For undergraduate students, the results were 46% and 35% respectively. This represents a poorer mental health experience for postgraduate students at the University of Bristol.

Responding to the findings a spokesperson for the University said: 'We recognise that postgraduate study can sometimes be an isolating and challenging experience. Our postgraduate students have access to the same wellbeing and support services as undergraduates and we regularly communicate to them about what is available.

'Specifically, for PGRs, the recently reopened PGR Hub in Senate House provides a dedicated space for PGR students to relax and meet others. The regular programme of social events, aimed at bring PGR students together, is also proving popular, supported by the PGR Community Fund.

'The Bristol Doctoral College has also expanded its programme of wellbeing activities for PGRs, including monthly coffee and cake afternoons, board games cafes, and free weekly yoga sessions.'

This follows a report by Epigram on Monday that 45 per cent of Bristol students 'screen positive' for depression.

The same survey also revealed that 34% of all students had been diagnosed with a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

Whilst, the overall number of postgraduate students displaying symptoms of depression in the 2019 Wellbeing Report increased, compared to the findings in 2018, students’ overall attitudes towards the University’s wellbeing services were found to have improved.

The report found that perception of the availability of wellbeing services and their accessibility had gone up since 2018. With just under half of students in the 2019 report claiming to have found time with a Student Wellbeing advisor ‘extremely useful’ compared to only 39% in 2018. Similarly, the number of those claiming that the University Wellbeing services were ‘not useful’ had fallen.

Featured Image: Epigram/Ollie Smith

Students who may be experiencing depression or other problems with their mental health are encouraged to get in contact with the support services bellow

Young Minds 0808 802 5544
Papyrus 0800 068 41 41
Student Minds