1 in 3 uni students report mental health issues

True prevalence could be even higher, researchers say

One in three first-year university students report symptoms suggestive of a diagnosable mental health disorder, according to international research, which includes Australian undergraduates.

Major depressive disorder was the most common mental health issue identified, followed by generalised anxiety disorder, in the study looking at surveys from 14,000 students in eight countries.

Researchers analysed data from the WHO's World Mental Health International College Student Initiative, in which students were asked to complete surveys in their first year of university.

The questionnaire included short, validated self-report screening scales for lifetime and 12-month prevalence of six common DSM–IV mood, anxiety and substance disorders.

More than 500 Australian university students from one university completed the survey, along with 18 other institutions in Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South