University promises action as students warn of mental health crisis

The University of East Anglia has pledged to take action to avert what students are calling a "mental health crisis" on campus.

There have been four deaths there in the last 10 months - and now thousands have signed a petition calling for the university to do more to support people

The Vice Chancellor has promised to do exactly that - with an extra £250,000 of funding.

One student told ITV News Anglia she was forced to take a year out from her studies because she wasn't getting the help she needed.

Ayeshah Lalloo said she was overwhelmed by deadline pressure and was deeply unhappy.

Ayeshah Lalloo Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I was constantly having breakdowns and I had three suicide attempts. Student support just weren't equipped to deal with how severe my problems were. University is marketed as this thing where you're supposed to have the time of your life - and I felt like I was doing something wrong personally."

Ayeshah Lalloo, University of East Anglia student

Concerns have also been raised by the family of Nick Sadler, a UEA student who is thought to have taken his own life last month.

Dad Will Sadler said his son had told his mentor he was having suicidal thoughts.

"I don't know if there's not enough support there for students or it's the way the courses are structured and there's too much pressure on them.

Will and Oliver Sadler, Nick's dad and brother
The University of East Anglia Credit: ITV News Anglia

The university says it is taking action and the students' union urged students to seek support if they needed it and feel confident that it would be there for them.

"The most important thing at this moment in time is for students to know that the support is there if they do need it. We're not running a campaign against student support services, the university is doing the absolute best it can to support everyone in this moment. The most important thing is - whether or not you think you might have to wait - just seek the help if you need it."

Georgina Burchell, Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer

If you are struggling at the moment and would like to speak to someone for advice or help, click here for links to organisations that can help.