Ban on pubs for students prompts concerns from MSP

Concerns are being raised with government ministers over the mental health of students following a ban on socialising with anyone outside their accommodation.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is seeking reassurances from the SNP administration that it will encourage universities and all those involved in supporting students.

And she has also urged all those working and supporting young people to flag up any concerns they have about a young person saying, “better to act unnecessarily than not to act at all”.

It comes after a Scottish government announcement aimed at curbing the social activities of students in a bid to stem a spate of coronavirus outbreaks, with students being told not to go to pubs or restaurants.

Mrs Grant said: “All steps have to be taken to stop the spread of this virus, but it will be totally unacceptable to just leave students without support.

“This situation is going to have a pretty catastrophic impact on young people’s mental health. We hope it’s not just their physical health but their mental health that is being looked after and that all the support available is drawn upon for them and their families.”

“In normal circumstances, students are going to university and they’re homesick, but they at least have the Freshers Week of fun and distraction. Now they’re left with just homesickness and isolation.

“There’s a lot of young folk breaking their hearts and parents are probably breaking their hearts too because their young ones have flown the nest.

“To worry that your child, because that’s what they are, is alone and scared and homesick must be so hard to bear.

“It’s not only the children’s mental health that will be suffering, this must be having an impact on the parents as well.

“I’m raising this with Health Secretary Jeane Freeman and John Swinney, education secretary. I want everyone to be aware of these young student’s mental health and I would call on all those involved in their support right now to use all the avenues of support that is available for them. Better to act unnecessarily than not to act at all.”


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