Pressure pushes uni youths over the edge

ADULT pressures could be pushing our young university students to the brink.

That's the warning from one of the country's leading youth mental health experts.

Feeling down? Need to talk? Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

One in four people aged 15 to 25 will have mental health problems, according to research from the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (Orygen).

Orygen says 86% of university students with mental health problems will not complete their courses.

Centre executive director Professor Patrick McGorry says the burden of expectation plus excessive drinking could drive young uni students over the edge.

"Anxiety, depression and substance-use disorders can have effects on personality development, relationships and academic performance," he said.

Prof McGorry urged community, government, health and university leaders to take action.

"(We need) widespread public relations and awareness campaigns and stigma reduction," he said.

"And better, more modern and more expert student health services."



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