What's Happening

College Students and Mental Health

October 28, 2015|Counseling & Psychotherapy

College students can be uniquely susceptible to conditions like depression and anxiety but finding help on campus can be challenging.

Some students are afraid, embarrassed, or may not to know where to go for help. Others may discover that due to increasing demands, their college counseling center can only offer short-term services.

Active Minds is a national non-profit organization that seeks to address these challenges head on via local, student-run chapters that work to empower students to speak openly about the importance of mental health, encourage students to seek help when needed, and advocate for quality services on campus.

Why is mental health awareness & advocacy on college campuses so important?

According to Active Minds:

Mental health issues are a leading impediment to academic success among college students. Untreated mental illness in the college student population — including depression, anxiety and eating disorders — is associated with lower GPA and higher probability of dropping out of school. Treatment is effective and available yet because of an unnecessary shame surrounding these issues, mental health is not discussed and too many students are suffering in silence.

Mental health issues are prevalent among college students:

  • An estimated 26 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – or about 1 in 4 adults – live with a diagnosable mental health disorder.
  • Half of all serious adult psychiatric illnesses – including major depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse – start by 14 years of age. Three-fourths of them are present by 25 years of age.
  • Compared to older adults, the 18-24 year old age group shows the lowest rate of help-seeking.

Mental health issues impact students’ ability to succeed:

  • Almost one third of all college students report having felt so depressed that they had trouble functioning.
  • Mental health issues in the college student population, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, are associated with lower GPA and higher probability of dropping out of college.
  • More than 80 percent of college students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in the past year and 45 percent have felt things were hopeless.

Mental health issues can be deadly:

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students, claiming the lives of 1,100 students each year.
  • 67% of college students tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else.
  • More than half of college students have had suicidal thoughts and 1 in 10 students seriously consider attempting suicide. Half of students who have suicidal thoughts never seek counseling or treatment.
  • 80-90% of college students who die by suicide were not receiving help from their college counseling centers

Click here for a full list of citations.

There are over 30 chapters of Active Minds in Massachusetts. Does your school have one? Should it?  Contact Active Minds for information about how to start a chapter.

Commonwealth Psychology Associates is proud to help alleviate demands on college counseling centers by providing counseling services for Boston-area college students. To learn more or inquire about services, please click here.

 

 

 

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