Former LSE student counsellor Robert Harris on the psychological horrors suffered by millennials, and Dr Max Davie on worrying cuts to student counselling services

Your article about “perfectionism” and young people in higher education (G2, 17 July) notes, but nimbly skips over, the clear link between neoliberal dog-eat-dog individualism and the psychological horrors suffered by unfortunate millennials who have never known anything but rabid destructive competition. The bullying cultures rife in academia (Report, 17 July) create terrors of rejection and exclusion. Young people are strongly inclined to feel that failure is due to inherent personal weakness, rather than something to be learned from to enhance personal development. A culture that emphasises pleasing those above and keeping up false images of competence and success with peers, rather than the enjoyment and value of pursuing knowledge for its own sake, will inevitably create both internal psychological attackers of guilt and self-blame and external bullies of insecure and anxious managers.
Robert Harris
Former student counsellor and psychotherapist, LSE

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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