Wednesday, December 13The Voice of London

Student drinking reaches all time high, here’s how it’s affecting our mental health

Moving away from home is never easy.

But how much harder does moving, all alone, to the big city make it?

Though one appeal of London is that there are so many different people around, it can be overlooked that this is one of the biggest problems.

With all the movement in London, it can leave students feeling lost, lonely and isolated.

Party culture in cities are much bigger than in small towns. This means that young people’s exposure to heavy drinking and drugs is higher.

78% of students suffer from some sort of mental health issues, which can make it difficult to do even the simplest of day-to-day tasks.

 

“It’s made my mental health worse because of how

much stress the city makes you feel”

 

This has been suggested to be worse in students in the big city. 

In 2016, Scientific American released a statement saying: “just 8% of people know no-one with mental health problems”.

Ashley, 18, Marylebone says: “I suffer from anxiety myself, and I’m positive I am not the only student that goes through this. I find that the constant pressure and stress of the city makes me more influenced to drink more. I only moved to London in September, and I’ve never drank so much. I would say I drink about four nights at least in a week. I would say I do feel a lot of pressure to drink given the big party culture here in London.”

According to NUS, 72% of students say that they drink due to the pressure of ‘fitting in’.

 

“you know your mental health better than anyone else”

 

When asked how drinking has affected her mental health, this is what she said: “I feel like it’s made it worse to be honest with myself. It’s made my mental health worse because of how much stress the city makes you feel, even when you’re not stressed. Alcohol is a depressant and so obviously it’s not going to do anyone any good. Especially when you binge drink. And are students.”

Student Minds is a charity specifically set up and dedicated to student mental health and university life. They offer “support groups so that students experiencing mental health difficulties have access to a supportive environment”.

Student Minds ambassador, Leanne, says: “Drinking has always been a part of student life, and so when people feel like it’s affecting their mental health, they try to brush it off because they think it’s the norm. But, if you’re thinking drinking is affecting your mental health, lay off it for a while and talk to somebody. At the end of the day, you know your mental health better than anyone else, so don’t let anyone tell you that “you’re just being silly”.

With over half of students suffering from mental health, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

For more information on getting help visit studentminds.org.uk.

Words: Brenda Zini I Subbed: Leanne Hall

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