TONY Giugliano’s article on World Mental Health Day was timely and mostly very much to the point (Why this World Mental Health Day has special importance, October 10).

I would just like to make a point regarding mental health provision for students. The article implied that this was poor or lacking in universities. I cannot answer for every university in the country but I know that mental health support for students at the University of Edinburgh, where I work as part of the Student Counselling Service, is second to none.

The SCS offers counselling (currently there is a choice of video, telephone, email or face-to-face when permitted, with all hygiene and social distancing rules adhered to), one-to-one CBT, EMDR, guided online CBT, and a whole suite of tailored self-help resources including mental health forums, apps, TED talks and books and workbooks and, in normal times, group therapy, mental health workshops ... and a day of pet therapy every semester.

READ MORE: Why Covid means this World Mental Health Day has special importance

Outwith the SCS, there is the Chaplaincy (for all faiths and none) offering the one-to-one Listening Service, workshops, mindfulness, blogs, podcasts and reflections and, currently, the Abundant Academy programme. Each student has a personal tutor for support with the everyday struggles of being a student, and there is EUSA, the Advice Place, and Edinburgh Global, specific support for international students.

Being a student, contrary to the beliefs of many, is rarely easy, but I know of at least one university – and I am sure this applies to most if not all of the other universities in Scotland – where that is recognised and every possible effort made to smooth the path.

Max Marnau

IT took years to debunk the theory that the MMR vaccination was the major cause of autism. The professional that promoted this idea had falsified records, possibly to feed his ego. The damage was done and is still being experienced years later, with lower than desired MMR vaccine uptake.

On Covid, it is tiring of listening to pundits saying that we should let people “make their own way” and “remove restrictions to open the economy up again” or that they don’t want to spend their last years in the hoose. I don’t like being stuck in either, but gatherings spread the virus, and this spread increases hospital admissions, which in turn “blocks beds” for regular patients, including in A&E.

So “spreaders” of the false knowledge – anti-vax or anti-mask or anti-isolation – should be asked where is their evidence? Has it been peer-reviewed? Why isn’t the government advocating this approach if it is sound advice? Do you think any government would want to give faulty advice?

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

THANK you, all of you, who are conforming to this short, sharp shock to check the coronavirus spread. You are giving me a better chance to see Christmas. It will be the best, the most enormous present I have ever received, the gift of life, and I am so very grateful to you all.

I am grateful to those of you who are disappointed by not being able to go to a pub for a meeting with your mates but don’t have the party at home anyway; all those who have stuck to the rules. In return I can only offer my thanks and the thanks of every other ancient. I am humbled by your generosity.

As for the pub owners and their staff, I share your anxiety but do not have to bear it. You are giving us old folk the possibility of living a little longer to enjoy life, and you keep alive my hope of celebrating an independent Scotland. Thank you all.

Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn

I AM a 61-year-old male with diabetes and I do not drive. I have neither seen nor spoken to a doctor since March 20, and must trust that my medication is sufficient. I am well overdue my diabetic eye test, but my optician tells me that they have been suspended, and I will be notified when things change. My teeth are not all they could be but I have not seen nor spoken to my dentist for more than six months, so a check-up seems to be out.

I am, however, willing to put up with these hardships, as long as someone can assure that all the members of the royal family are dealing with the same structures, because as the Westminster government is telling us, “We are all in this together”.

Or is it, as Mr Orwell says, that “some are more equal than others”?

TG Thomson
East Ayrshire

PLEASED at the announcement regarding 22 new fully electric buses for Glasgow. For the benefit of your younger readers, we HAD ultra-low-emission buses in Glasgow many decades ago.

They were called TROLLEY BUSES, or more colloquially, “Whisperin’ Death” as the only sounds they made were a hum and the sound of the tyres on the road. The old Green Cross Code for kids crossing the street better be revamped, as LOOKING both ways is going to keep you alive. Blind folks.... be super aware (unless they’ve fitted the new buses with an artificial noise-making device).

Barry Stewart