The research took the form of a student survey, which asked more than 2,000 UK students about their experiences with mental health.
“We urge universities and accommodation providers to support these vulnerable young people”
Of the respondents, 36% of international students consider themselves to have “poor mental health”, and as many as 55% report having poor mental health for more than two years.
These figures are significant, but it should be noted that they are significantly lower than the figures reported by domestic students, 69% of whom report ongoing poor mental health of two years or more.
In another headline figure, CLV say that 36% of international students have felt, at some point, suicidal. That compares to 39% of domestic UK students.
In more positive news from the report, 64% of mobile students to the UK understand where to go for help with mental health issues. That’s a full 11% higher than the same reported figure for UK students.
However, quite how clearly institutions are displaying information about mental health assistance, is unclear as only 23% of international students understood that help was offered by their halls of residence.
The changing nature of study and society is having an impact on students’ mental health, the report’s authors say. The findings “show a clear correlation between time spent on social media and mental health”, it states.
“The wider issues young people are facing today – financial pressures, an increasingly competitive jobs market, the rise of technology and prevalence of social media, and uncertain political and economic times” can all have a detrimental impact on mental health, according to the report.
CEO of CLV, Richard Gabelich said the results of this survey make it clear that the university sector must act.
“Universities and accommodation providers are in touch with young people during one of the most formative stages of their lives which puts an onus on us all to understand the situation and help however we can,” he said in a statement.
Brian Dow of Rethink Mental Illness agreed, pointing out that a new awareness of mental health problems should be met with education and accommodation providers who are willing and able to offer support.
“As people with mental illness become more willing to speak out, it is vital that they’re able to find someone who will listen. We urge universities and accommodation providers to consider what more they can do to support these vulnerable young people,” Dow said.
To find out more about mental health support services and legislation, ReThink Mental Illness offer information here
If you are need to talk to someone, an international list of helplines can be found here