Student mental health must be treated as a priority, the Liberal Democrats said after figures showed more than 45,000 people have used university counselling services in Scotland over the last five years.
Statistics compiled by the party showed that over the last five academic years, 45,724 students have sought help.
The universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow reported the highest demand, with 8,105 and 9,308 students respectively seeking help over the period according to the figures, which were obtained under Freedom of Information.
Across Scotland 9,382 students sought counselling from their university in 2016-17 – down from the total of 11,981 recorded the previous year, but up from 6,002 in 2012-13.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “A student’s time at university can be the time of their life but it can also be incredibly stressful. From anxiety over finances to academic work, there are challenges that can have implications for people’s mental health.
“We know that student counselling services in universities work incredibly hard but these figures show just how much demand there is for their service. We recently revealed that a student in Glasgow had been waiting nearly 300 days for an appointment. This figure is nothing short of an outrage.
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