A systematic review: Students with mental health problems--a growing problem

Int J Nurs Pract. 2010 Feb;16(1):1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2009.01813.x.


The number of university students with a serious mental illness has risen significantly over the past few years. A systematic review was conducted that addressed emotional and or mental health problems of university students worldwide. In total, 572 articles were identified, of which 11 met inclusion criteria. Issues identified included types of problems experienced by students, how staff dealt with these students, barriers to seeking help, tools that facilitated help-seeking and epidemiological trends in the university student population. Recommendations include (i) providing better links between the university and external mental health providers, and (ii) increasing students' awareness of existing support services within and external to the university. As it is unrealistic to expect all academic staff to have the expertise required to deal with students with emotional problems, it is also recommended that (iii) policies and personnel with expertise in mental health are available to provide guidance for staff.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Global Health
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Research Design
  • Stereotyping
  • Student Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Students* / psychology
  • Students* / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities* / organization & administration