College Students and Mental Health
College can be an exciting time. For the first time in their lives students are finally getting a taste of what life is like on their own; without their parents. This is a time for self-discovery and new relationships. Most college freshmen are new to adulthood. While this can be an exciting time in their lives, the college experience can also be quite scary.
Most college freshman desire acceptance from their peers. They are also under quite a bit of pressure: to be responsible and to achieve good grades, for example.
We must also realize that most mental illnesses strike during the college years. For instance, depression and anxiety usually strike before age twenty-five. The most common mental health disorders among US college students are anxiety and depression.
According to researchers, the diagnoses of anxiety has increased by 6 percent between 2009 and 2015 among college students. According to these studies, the most common mental health problem among US college students is anxiety. Fortunately, there are more psychiatric services available on most university campuses in the US. Due to a decrease in stigmatization of mental health disorders in recent years, an increasing amount of college students are seeking out these services.
What can we do to prevent the rising number of students with mental health problems across US college campuses? How can we as a nation prevent these disabling conditions from getting any worse? According to Stewart Cooper, director of counseling services at Valparaiso University, “Mental health screening days and evidence-based materials and interventions that are technology-based fit here.” Avoidance is key in this situation. Most college students are stressed, and as mentioned above, are adjusting to life away from their parents and families back home for the first time. They also struggle to “fit in” and desire to feel accepted by their peers. In addition, they are pressured to study hard and get good grades. If a mental illness strikes during this process, as you can imagine, success in college is greatly jeopardized.
More preventative measures are needed to prevent mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression from striking.
Counseling should be provided to not only students already diagnosed with a mental illness, but also students who haven’t been diagnosed, but are displaying the warning signs.
If you (or someone you love) is displaying signs of mental illness, please give us a call today. We are here to help!