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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 1. 1967.

Pyschiatrics for students

Pyschiatrics for students

Christchurch — A problem which has long been overlooked in New Zealand Universities is the one of students' mental illness, which has been investigated only recently.

Dr. M. G. Williams of the Queensland University Student Health Service, emphasised the need for care of student health when he was in New Zealand recently. Students were a valuable asset to a country which hopes to progress in the future, he said.

But it has been found by Dr. W. J. Ironside, of the Otago Medical School that health problems were not confined to the student's physical well-being only. He said in an article in the "New Zealand Medical Journal" that a campus health service must be staffed with psychiatrists and clinical psychologists if it is to help students.

Suffering stoically

He described many students as "suffering stoically" from their mental difficulties, being either unaware of possible aid from their student health services or being too ashamed to seek it.

From a survey conducted on 374 fifth-year medical students at the Otago Medical School over four successive years, he found that nearly 25 per cent of them were suffering from psychiatric morbidity. which he termed an excessively high rate.

While this survev was conducted only in the medical faculty. Dr. Ironside said he had no doubt that n similar high incidence would be discovered among students in other faculties

This seems to be proved by the occasional incident which reaches newspapers, such as the mentally-ill Texas, student who massacred 11 people and wounded twice as many more.