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University students are returning to their old school for counselling, leading headmistress says

University students are returning to their old school for counselling because they don’t know who else to turn to, a leading head has said.

Julie Keller, headmistress at the £14,000-a-year Nottingham Girls’ High School, told how her former pupils come back to their school to ask for help with their mental health issues.

“The girls are used to being able to get advice from us, so we have a school nurse, we have a school counsellor. That’s what we believe the girls need,” she said.

“So they go off to university and they find it quite difficult to not have the structure. And their initial thing is to come back to us, because they know we’re there.”

Miss Keller said that when students go to university “they just don’t know who to speak to”, adding: “You’ve got tutors, different academics, different people.

Universities are getting better at providing all those services but sometimes the girls want familiarity and what they know.”

The number of university students reaching out to mental health facilities is up by 50 per cent, according to data published last year.

It rose from 50,900 to 78,100 between 2012 and 2017, while budgets towards mental health services increased by 40 per cent. 

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