London, 5 March 2020: Bark, the leading services marketplace, today reveals that the number of requests for therapy services has seen a sharp increase over the last twelve months. Therapy queries, or ‘Barks’, in January 2020 (6,179) almost doubled in comparison to queries for the same time period in 2019 (3,550), a total increase of 74%. This trend follows suit to data collected in 2018 (2,292 therapy Barks recorded) and 2017 (667 therapy Barks recorded) respectively.
In support of University Mental Health Day, Bark is making it free for therapy professionals to respond to therapy queries on the Bark platform on the 5th of March 2020. The incentive not only supports the awareness day but will ensure that those seeking help are able to access it quickly in a way that suits them.
Conversations around mental health are increasingly coming to the forefront, however, universities have not necessarily adapted their mental health support offerings to meet demand. In some Higher Education Institutes, up to 1 in 4 students are using, or waiting to use, counselling services, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research**.
A 2017 survey by Sodexo* revealed that 42% of UK students have considered dropping out because of physical or mental health issues, meaning it’s more important than ever to ensure that resources are in place for students. Bark makes it easy for anyone looking for support to find the right professional for them, filtering everything from gender to availability and method of communication.
Kai Feller, founder and CEO of Bark says: “It’s tougher than ever for university students. On top of a mountain of crippling debt, students are battling rising living costs as well as heightened competition when it comes to getting a job. Increased strain on mental health is leading to more drop-outs, according to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency***”.
“Ensuring the right support is in place for students is key to turning this around. For University Mental Health Day, we’re making responses to therapy related Barks free of charge, to ensure that students can get the support they need, when they need it”.
Bark enables professionals to list their services via its online marketplace. Users can then put out “Barks” for specific services, opening the floor for professionals to respond.