Stress and Mental Health at Imperial


The results of a survey conducted by Mentality, a student-led campaigning group, have been compiled into a report. 

Mentality aimed to find out about:

  • Prevalence of mental health issues at Imperial amongst students
  • Symptoms and causes
  • Student awareness of the services provided
  • Student opinion on these services, what did they find helpful / unhelpful
  • What improvements would students want to see. 

Over 1,000 students completed the survey, with a broad mixed of demographics including gender, fee status, study type, and faculty. 

Key findings from the survey:

20% of respondents stated they had been diagnosed with a mental illness, a further 40% of respondents felt that they didn't have a mental illness but had experienced mental stresses. 

69.5% of respondents reported feeling stressed at least once a week, a similar survey conducted by the National Union of Students which reported just 31% of students feeling stressed at least once a week. 

The survey also looked at what caused students to feel mental distress.

77% of students cited 'Exams and Revision' as contributing to their feeling of mental distress.

Of the top 5 causes of mental distress 4 were related to academic pressures, showing that the culture in relation to academic success and the pressure around it is having a negative affect on students lives. 

Alongside this the report also looked at the services available, which services students are most likely to turn to, what their experiences were and if the service was postive or negative. 


From the report there have been four key recommendations made:

Recommendation 1:  A clear document aimed at signposting students to relevant services in relation to stress and mental health. As part of this, there should be a clear path to this information on the college website, and it should be part of the welcome pack distributed to every student,

Recommendation 2 : While the Counselling Services waiting times have improved over the last year, we think that ensuring extra provisions were put on at key times - often leading into exams or deadlines. This problem isnt just isolated to the counselling service but also extends to the health centre and the GP. They should:

    • Look into the feasibility of introducting a self assessment form for students to fill in ahead of the initial assessment to ensure students are getting help they need. 
    • To look into 'out of hours' support
    • Ensure that support is in place for students at Charing Cross and that sufficient support is given to other non-South Kensington campuses is in place.

Recommendation 3 : College to put students' mental wellbeing as a strategic priority over the next five years, and commit to:

    • Investing in a student peer support group working with Imperial College Union and Student Minds
    • A review of the training that Personal Tutors recieve, ensure that Personal Tutors have regular refresher sessions and that they are given a support netowrk to ensure they can share best practice.
    • The Union and College to review the training given to Hall Wardens and Hall Seniors.
    • Ensure that mental health first aid training is provided to students who may be in welfare positions, including Club and Society Chairs.
    • Create support network for academic, welfare and personal tutors. In addition to this, ensure that Personal Tutors are trained in anonymity and confidentiality.

Recommendation 4 : Recommend to the Counselling Service and Health Centre if a student misses an appointment that it should be followed up and the student should be checked on. 

To read the full report please see below. Or if you would like a copy of the report please email the Representation and Campaigns Coordinator.

If you would like to get involved in tackling the causes of and the stigma surrounding mental health at Imperial, support Mentality to be kept up to date.


To find out more or if you want to get more involved contact

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