Mental Health Resources for Students
Mental health issues are a genuine and growing problem among college students. Up to 75% of students with potential mental health issues do not seek help for them.
Even if teens go off to college without any present mental health issues, they may produce them when they are there without the essential support services available to help them manage.
This article is meant to provide college students and families with information on identifying mental health issues.
Mental health issues in college
Mental illness is a prevalent issue among college students. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 4 college students qualify for a mental health diagnosis, and 40% won't seek the help they need.
NAMI also reports that 80% of college students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and half of them have become so anxious that they struggled in school.
Below is a list of severe mental health issues known to affect college students:
Depression in college students is the most common mental health issue students face. Affecting 20% of all college students, depression is rarely caused by an overwhelming amount of schoolwork. Mental health professionals attribute depression among students to everyday stressors during adolescence or early adulthood.
Recognizing the symptoms of depression
Depression is a persistent mood disorder that affects how you think, feel, and behave, even in college. Depression can make you feel as if life isn't worth living anymore, preventing you from going about your day-to-day activities.
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. According to the American Psychological Association, symptoms of depression can include the following:
Physical symptoms: Changes in sleep and eating habits.
Emotional symptoms: Feelings of sadness, feeling overwhelmed, hopelessness, and powerlessness.
Thinking symptoms: Seeing a glass "half-empty," having trouble concentrating and paying attention, difficulty reading and completing work tasks.
Everyone, including college students, experiences significant amounts of stress. When coupled with unhealthy coping mechanisms, like dependence on alcohol or drugs, stress can ultimately lead to mental health issues like depression.
Managing stress is particularly important for college students, as unchecked mental health issues can impact academic performance.
Most college students experience a fair amount of anxiety. As you can expect, trying to balance assignments, exams, and part-time jobs can lead to severe levels of anxiety, which could then turn into a significant mental health issue or disorder.
Students who feel like anxiety is getting worse should schedule some time to speak with a counselor or mental health specialist to pinpoint the source of anxiety and figure out solutions to overcome it.
With the high stress and workloads that many college students face, it's easy to pass symptoms of bipolar disorder as mood swings. You may find that your mood swings are causing difficulties in your personal or academic life; you should seek counseling from a mental health specialist.
Approximately 20% of women and 10% of college students in general struggle with an eating disorder. For some students, the pressure of losing weight and keeping up with their appearance can be enough to trigger an eating disorder.
For others, the stress of maintaining a busy social, academic, and work schedule may make it challenging for them to eat correctly, leading to an eating disorder down the line. While there are numerous different eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia are two of the most popular.
Addiction can be potent for young people, who may turn to drugs, alcohol, or food to deal with stress or an underlying mental health disorder. Binge drinking is a prevalent form of addiction found on American campuses.
Some researchers estimate that up to 15% of college students have engaged in some form of self-harming behavior. Self-harm is a severe mental health
issue that a trained mental health specialist should monitor.
Self-care and therapy options
There are several options available to students who may need them.
As a student, try to find the time to practice self-care and healthy habits. That means you should try to get enough quality sleep, eat a healthy diet, get daily exercise, and avoid excessive amounts of class, work and extracurricular activities.
Self-care during your college years can also include finding space in your life to relax or work with a therapist. A therapist can also help you work through any mental health-related issues.
Minor adjustments to support your mental health today
For college students who do not struggle with significant mental health issues, there are still actionable steps to relieve stress and anxiety. Here are a few suggestions to take into consideration:
Physical activity: Exercise releases endorphins that have an almost immediate impact on stress and anxiety. Exercise can also boost self-confidence and increase your ability to think, focus.
Sleep and diet changes: Significant changes in diet or sleep can also raise your stress or anxiety levels. Staying up late to study for tests or finish assignments can expect some degree of sleep deprivation, resulting in poor academic performance or more serious mental health issues.
Psychiatric care: If you or your college student find that the amount of stress is becoming too much to handle on your own, obtaining psychiatric care should be given serious consideration. Depending on your needs, mental health professionals can help you overcome stress, anxiety, and other issues impacting your day-to-day life.
Mental health specialists help us overcome stress, anxiety, and many other issues. Remember that seeking psychiatric care should never be thought of as unreasonable.
College can be an exciting time for everyone in the family. However, it can be stressful too. While it's not uncommon for mental health issues to arise during this time, you should educate yourself about mental health issues and various ways to get help.
Even if you feel that the stress and pressure in your life aren't affecting your mental health, seeking therapy and counseling to understand how to better manage anxiety and stress can still be helpful.
Here are a few options you have when it comes to treatment:
Individual counseling. Our sessions at Michigan Psychological Care are provided in a one-on-one setting with one of our experienced therapists. Whether you're dealing with substance abuse issues, anxiety troubles, or are looking for depression treatment options; we have three facilities to provide you with the compassionate care you deserve conveniently.
Support groups. Group counseling can also make a big difference. There are closed groups and open groups available. Open groups are group sessions in which anyone can join and be welcomed at any point in the process. Closed groups are typically 12-15 weeks where the group meets every week, but no new members are introduced after the first or second session.
By allowing you to experience a sense of belonging, group counseling can provide you with the structure and support you need to improve your situation. Our trained and compassionate staff is here to help. Contact us to learn more or call the facility near you to learn more.
Keywords: mental health, mental health therapist, counselor, anxiety