Mental health care services are now available in most institutions of higher learning. In as much as the services are available to students, most students claim not be aware of the mental health support available to them on their different campuses.

Baring this in mind the question then arises whose responsibility it is to raise awareness around student counselling services.

In recent days many conversations around institutions capabilities to serve students with mental health services have arisen. Rhodes University came under fire as it’s students dissed the governing bodies actions against Khensani Maseko’s allegedly rapist, similarly the Durban University of Technology is under review as a student has gone missing after his family claimed he was exhibiting signs of depression at the beginning of the year.

Students shy away from mental health awareness campaigns and exhibitions due to numerous reasons, such as stigma around mental health , peer pressure, many students even shy away from visiting anything pertaining to mental health as it something frown down on largely by the black community.

Most students leave their symptoms untreated and do not seek intervention due to the stigma associated with mental health illnesses.

Modernising mental health awareness campaigns is the only way to accelerate the deteriorating state of mental illnesses around students as well as the rise of suicides.

By Thandeka Hlongwa

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