Disparities in Psychological Distress Among Higher Education Students in Ireland

Psychological distress among higher education students is a growing concern, both in Ireland and internationally. As well as the personal consequences for students themselves, which can include diminished wellbeing, unhappiness, social isolation, and decreased enjoyment of life, the high prevalence of mental ill-health amongst students also has implications for the higher education sector. Poor mental health can affect academic performance and student retention, while the demand for student counselling services is rising. This research examined psychological distress among a representative sample of 5,201 higher education students in Ireland across a range of personal, higher education, and socio-economic characteristics. The survey, conducted prior to the pandemic, collected information on depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms among student respondents.

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