Students 'mentally ill due to debt'

9th October 1998 at 01:00
RISING LEVELS of debt could be responsible for mental illness in students, according to psychologists at the University of Westminster.

A year-long study of more than 100 students has found that long working hours outside university and problems with paying bills are significantly linked with worse levels of mental health.

A majority of the sample had jobs and just under three quarters of those had problems paying bills. Forty one per cent owed an average of Pounds 3,000.

"All the effects we observed were far from small, say the psychologists, writing in the latest edition of The Psychologist magazine. "Given the current picture of widespread economic problems in the student body, these findings suggest that large numbers of students may be at risk."

The Government has just introduced Pounds 1,000 tuition fees, and has abolished the student grant.

"In the brave new world of underfunded higher education for all, poverty appears to be becoming entrenched - a situation that carries dangers for the wider society."

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