Should I disclose a mental health issue on my university application?
With so many things to include, such as your expected grades and your personal statement, filling out your university application form can be a daunting experience for most people. But for some, the biggest hurdle that they’ll come across is deciding whether or not to disclose the fact that they have a disability or a mental health difficulty.
In the personal details section, you will be asked whether or not you have a disability, including mental health difficulties. But what are your rights when it comes to this information? Do you actually have to disclose it? And if you do, will this impact on the university’s decision making process?
Firstly, it’s important to know that this question isn’t designed to catch you out. It’s simply there to ensure you get the right support at university.
All applicants have the right to equal treatment
The biggest worry for most people is that if they disclose that they have a mental health issue, this will affect the way they are treated during the decision making process.
The Equality Act ensures that you cannot be discriminated against because of your illness or disability. The university must base their decision on academic suitability for your preferred course. However there may be courses, such as social work or nursing, which will require a fitness-to-practice assessment prior before you are offered a place.
Your information will be protected
Disclosing your information on your application does not mean that the whole world will know about your mental health issues. All university staff must adhere to the Data Protection Act so your information will be treated with sensitivity and only shared with those who need to know at the time of disclosure.
Support is there if you need it
Anyone with a disability or mental health difficulties has the right to access the same opportunities as everyone else – and disclosing this information during the application process will help you to access the right kind of support at the earliest opportunity.
However it’s never too late to seek support from your university – just because you didn’t mention it on your application form, doesn’t mean that it won’t be available to you. Just chat to the Student Services team who will be able to help you access the support you need.
What happens if I choose not to disclose this information?
It’s not compulsory to tell us about your mental health difficulties; it’s obviously a very personal decision and many students will choose not to mention anything at the time of application, and maybe not even during their entire time at university.
You may feel that at the time of application you would not benefit from any additional support – but as mentioned earlier, help is always available further down the line when and if you require it.
For more information on the help available to students with additional needs at Wrexham Glyndwr, please visit our Student Support section or alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to our specialist team.
This blog is written in support of Mental Health Awareness Week - for more information on this campaign please visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk