University of Limerick (UL) have not reappointed a consultant psychiatrist, it was reported earlier this week – making it the only Irish university without an on-campus psychiatrist.
In a statement, the university said: “UL remains fully committed to ensuring an adequate provision of on-campus psychiatry services as part of the wider range of support services to its student community.”
UL is home to almost twelve-thousand students, many of whom have expressed concern over the matter – with one saying that she’s really worried about the news.
The student, Megan Thornton, continued by saying “it comes down to what we want to prioritise and who we want to be as a university.”
“Should we be putting the well-being of our students or the image of the university first? A new students union, a rebrand or a new library are no good if all the students using them are struggling and have nowhere to turn for help,” she said.
Another student, who would prefer to remain anonymous, said the service was extremely helpful for students struggling financially as it was free.
“Between diagnosing me and getting my dosage for my medication right, the campus psychiatrist was an invaluable help.
“Without it, I’m under more financial pressure than ever, and I’m sure a lot of students in the same boat as me are under similar pressure now,” she said.
The student explained that she was only informed of the news a few days before her prescription expired.
She says she understands the university are trying their best but there’s only so many counsellors available to students.
“There needs to be more money put into the counselling centre and the student health centre to help resolve these issues.”
In an Freedom of Information request from 2016, UL said it had the equivalent of 8.5 full time counsellors, with an average waiting time of two to three weeks – however urgent cases are prioritised.