Mental Health at Universities: Universities are Not In Loco Parentis – Students are Active Partners in Mental Health

Birgit Schreiber


Mental health is currently in the national and international and African spotlight (Jacaranda, 2018; Mabasa, 2018). Recently, the South African higher education mourned losses at Wits University, Stellenbosch University, as well as other institutions of higher learning (Mabasa, 2018). The U.K. media featured an article in The Guardian, quoting the U.K. minister of higher education as saying that higher education institutions risk “failing an entire generation of students” (Adams, 2018).  This article takes position on the emerging discourse around mental health in higher education. It discusses the extent of the problem and reveals the challenges in our understanding in terms of the absolute measures and highlights that particularly female students are at risk (Lochner et al., 2018). This article emphasises that constructions of students as active partners in higher education opens the opportunity to enlist students as active partners in creating conditions conducive to health and healthy choices that promote mental health.

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ISSN 2307-6267 (online), ISSN 2311-1771 (print)

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