College is supposed to be the best years of your life. You get to spread your wings, explore new opportunities and gain independence from the authority figures. However, many students are gradually slipping into a cycle of anxiety and depression during college. Regardless of how many events they plan or how many friends they make. Although it’s hard to admit this as a society, mental illness affects one out of every five college students. And with no signs that these statistics will change anytime soon, we need solutions now more than ever before.
Issues Affecting Student Mental Health
School Counselors and Psychologists remain scarce. Depression Issues, Anxiety issues, and Student life are at an all-time high and are widespread among students. They face discrimination when contacting someone offering support in dealing with mental health issues. Psychologists in schools are often overloaded with students, making it difficult for a student to seek help. Students also don’t seek help as they fear being stigmatized by their peers or other students. When seeking help, many face long waiting lists or lack knowledge in dealing with the situation.
Students need more resources if we want healthier future generations growing up under our current ones. Some of these resources include:
- Better funding for mental health services
- Increased access to school counselors
- Support groups that certified counselors run
- Workshops on how best to use these resources effectively
- Telepsychiatry services should be made available on campus
- Having friends/family members talk about their own experiences so others know normal behavior vs. abnormal behavior, etc.
As adults, we often take for granted the resources given growing up. We were able to go to school, receive healthcare, and even eat food. But many students in the United States need access to these things. Students need more resources if we want healthier future generations growing up under our current ones.
Mental Health – Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are mental illnesses that can affect any student. They’re also prevalent, affecting over half of all college students, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA). Many don’t realize these conditions until they’ve slipped into a cycle of negative thoughts or behaviors. However, this process has several ways to help yourself or others. If you know someone experiencing anxiety or depression, it’s essential to know what signs to look for and then help immediately.
More than just feeling sad occasionally, anxiety disorders involve feelings of fear, panic attacks, and general unease about everyday life situations. These include being on campus alone after dark, being unable to meet deadlines, and social altercations.
Student Mental Health in Crisis
According to a recent national study, the mental health crisis has drastically worsened. Over 60% of college students meet at least one mental health diagnosis criteria during 2020–2021. It represents an increase of nearly 50% from 2013.
In 2021, the Mayo Clinic reported up to 44% of college students had symptoms of anxiety and depression. The upward trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Students Services Available
The need for more counselors on college campuses is clear, and colleges are responding. Many schools have increased their mental health services in recent years. Student demands and a national conversation about college mental health issues have helped. There is still a lot more to do. Nearly half of all colleges surveyed had no trained counselors on staff at all. School counselors remain scarce.
But even if more counselors were available, it would not solve every student’s problems—because not every student identifies as heterosexual or cisgender (someone whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth). According to data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), LGBTQ youth are three times as likely to report thoughts about suicide.
LGBTQ Programs Available
Nearly half say they’ve made attempts, and one-third say they feel depressed on most days. School counselors often lack enough training or experience in dealing with issues specific to LGBTQ populations. It makes these students even less likely than their straight peers who might be able to seek out help elsewhere instead of relying solely upon school resources such as peer-run support groups hosted by LGBT organizations like GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) or the Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project, a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, reports that 40 percent of its callers are transgender and gender nonconforming—and that number is likely higher among LGBTQ youth who don’t have access to resources like them. School counselors can help fill this gap by guiding young people who need it most, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
School Counselor Scarcity
Students need help with mental health issues. School counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals are scarce. There’s not enough time in the day to meet with students who need support and guidance around these issues. Telepsychiatry is a great way to receive therapy or psychiatric visits without going to a doctor’s office. The schools can only do so much on their own; they need help from parents, too. For example, parents should be more aware of their child’s stress level, whether it be school-related or family-related. When they see signs of increased anxiety or depression, they should encourage their children to seek professional help.
Reevaluating How We Address Mental Health on College Campuses
It is a severe issue affecting many young people, and schools must do their part. But the truth is that there aren’t enough resources to go around. Counselors and psychologists are in short supply on college campuses, leaving students who need help with nowhere else to turn.
Mental health issues are common among young adults Don’t let yours go untreated! If you find yourself feeling depressed or anxious during your time at school, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. It’s important to remember that treating mental health can’t be done with medication and therapy alone. It requires a support network of friends and family who will listen when you’re ready to share.
East Coast Telepsychiatry Helps Students Overcome Anxiety and Depression
Hopefully, this article has provided you with a better understanding of anxiety and depression among college students. In closing, we want to remind you that there is no shame in seeking help if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms. It’s essential to reach out to others and share your feelings with them so they can also offer support.
East Coast Telepsychiatry is here to ensure you don’t have to worry about anything except getting better. With our experienced team and cutting-edge technology, we’ll work with you to create a treatment plan to get you where you want to be. Schedule an appointment today or call us at (843) 299-2033.