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Almost 40% of third level students report suffering from severe anxiety, study shows

Almost 40% of college students suffer from severe levels of anxiety while 30% experience severe depression.

A new report into the mental health of third level students by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) found one fifth feel they have no one to talk to about their personal difficulties.

It also found many students are having to rely on both on and off-campus services to support their mental health.

The 'National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level' will be launched by the Union of Students in Ireland at Trinity College later today.

It marks the first time that the USI has commissioned a survey on the mental health of third-level students.

The report, funded by the HSE, surveyed 3,000 third level students.

Vice-president for welfare at USI, Róisín O'Donovan, says she is saddened by the findings.

"You see now the data shows that the mental health of students is really poor and I think it's a shame that both the education and the healthcare system we have in Ireland obviously isn't supporting students as best as it can," said Ms O'Donovan.

"I am very shocked by the data and saddened by it but not surprised because of all the financial stress, the accommodation stress as well that students are in at the moment."

Ms O'Donovan said that greater supports are needed for students.

She said that there needs to be investment in mental health services both on and off-campuses.

"I would like to see more streamlined services because sometimes there is quite a gap between services especially if you're coming from secondary school into college and if you're leaving college."

An increase in peer support programmes was also among the suggestions.