A new integrated Student Health Service located in the heart of the University area of the city has opened to serve the needs of students, staff and residents at Elmwood Manse, 7 University Terraces, Belfast.
Funded by the Belfast Local Community Group (LCG) and the Belfast Health Trust, the service brings a holistic approach to student health by locating general practice alongside adult psychology services. This allows the practice to offer a specialist focus on student & young adult mental health.
Dr Martin Cunningham, GP and Belfast LCG member said, “From 2008 to 2013, we saw a 25% increase in the numbers of patients from the student and university community, at the former University Practice, located in Lennoxvale. Putting this service in the heart of the University area, next to the Student Guidance Centre, makes it more convenient and will allow us to address the specific mental and physical needs of young people, postgraduates, mature and international students as well as University staff.”
The services which may be offered include mild to moderate mental health issues as well as more severe conditions such as ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome, eating disorders and obesity, some of which may emerge for the first time when a student moves to University.
Queen’s University Belfast student, Felicity McKee, who has recently been crowned Miss QUB welcomed the service, “The opening of this centre is an amazing development to aid the promotion of mental wellness amongst students, and the option of holistic care is a great addition to the traditional methods of health care. As a service user who has experienced medical leave from university as a result of my disability, this service will no doubt aid in keeping myself and others healthy and in education as well as raising awareness of the importance of good mental health.”
Holistic student health promotion activities are also planned at the centre for physical health, psychological resilience, emotional well-being, social engagement and academic achievement. Other specialist services include Enhanced Sexual Health Service, Sports and Exercise, and Travel Medicine.