College students are, unfortunately, under a huge amount of stress as they begin their semester. A nationwide survey of 1,200 college undergraduates conducted by TimelyMD reveals that 80% of them declared a mental health crisis on campus – despite the number being slightly lower than last year. This is especially disconcerting given that almost two-thirds of these students are also concerned about the predicted recession in 2023. The gravity of this situation is worrying; college students must have access to comprehensive and reliable mental health services and support, so that they can live full and healthy lives throughout their academic careers.
Key findings of the survey include:
- Nearly two-thirds of college students are worried about a recession in 2023, but mental health is their top source of stress.
- 80% of students declared a mental health crisis on campus.
- 71% experience some form of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and/or depression with the same or higher levels than last year.
- The top five sources of student stress include:
- Mental Health (50%),
- Personal Finances (39%),
- Academics (37%),
- Mass Shootings (35%) and
- Inflation/Rising Prices (35%).
- 70% think their college provides sufficient resources to support them; half have used teletherapy services or apps to do so; 75% say it improved their condition overall.
- Disparities among certain student groups exist – American Indian 84%, Transgender 79%, Non-Binary 73%, LGBTQIA+ 68%.
- Stigma around talking about mental health is lessening yet many are still reluctant to seek professional help – 66% report family awareness & 84% are supportive while 63% turn to peers first for help & 53% are undecided on seeking professional support.
Stressors Affecting Mental Health
College students often face a variety of stressors that can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Economic uncertainty and recession worries are particularly acute among this population, with many worrying about their future job prospects in an uncertain economy.
Financial pressures from tuition costs, student loan debt, and other living expenses can also take a toll on their overall wellbeing. Academic challenges such as heavy course loads or intense competition from peers can also contribute to poor mental health. On top of all of this, mass shootings have become more commonplace in recent years and inflation/rising prices have put even more pressure on students’ wallets.
All of these stressors can put immense strain on a person’s mental health and make it difficult for them to cope with their day-to-day lives.
Resources Available To Support Students With Mental Health Needs
Fortunately, there are resources available that can help get people the support they need when they’re struggling with mental health issues. The proliferation of teletherapy services and apps has made it much easier for those with limited mobility or access to traditional therapy sessions to receive help from trained professionals via video chat or telephone call. Additionally, there is increased awareness around the different needs of American Indian, transgender/non-binary/LGBTQIA+ students so that appropriate services can be provided for each group accordingly.
Stigma Around Talking About Mental Health Is Lessening but More Support Is Needed
The stigma around talking about mental health is slowly starting to lessen but more needs to be done in order for everyone who needs help to feel comfortable reaching out for it without fear or shame. Family members need awareness about what kind of supportive responses might best help those struggling with mental illness understand their experience better rather than making them feel ashamed or judged.
Further, teaching young people how important it is for them reach out for help before things become too overwhelming could go a long way towards preventing serious crises down the line as well as providing them with much needed emotional support during difficult times in their lives. Finally seeking professional support through therapy sessions should always be considered if someone feels like they need additional help beyond what family members or friends can provide them with at any given moment in time.
College Students: Get the Help You Need
Mental illness is an issue that affects many college students today but luckily there are resources available that make it easier for those affected by this issue get the help they need when they need it most.
While the stigma around talking about mental illness still exists in some communities awareness campaigns have been helping lessen this issue greatly over time which ultimately makes it much easier for college students everywhere get the help they need without fear of judgment or shame from family friends or peers alike.
All in all, we must continue taking steps towards creating safer environments where everyone has easy access to professional support when needed so we can truly create a world free from suffering due to poor mental health outcomes.
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