Navigating the path to psychological well-being
Statistics show that today’s college students are facing more complex and severe mental health problems than the students of past decades. Over one-quarter of freshmen feel overwhelmed on a regular basis, and nearly 10 percent struggle with feeling sad and unmotivated. While most students’ problems subside following their freshman year, a significant proportion of students experience chronic levels of distress that won’t subside as time progresses without professional intervention.
Despite the increase in the number of students requiring help, many communities are closing mental health centers, so students have fewer and fewer places to turn for off-campus counseling. This has placed a great strain on the counseling staff on most college campuses.
Luckily, the outlook is far from bleak for students with mental health problems. Today’s medication is more effective than ever before and has allowed students with serious mental illnesses, who previously would have been unable to even enroll in college, to earn a distinguished post-secondary degree. If you have concerns about your own mental health, don’t hesitate to visit your campus’s health center. Ignoring your mental health can be just as dangerous as ignoring your physical health.
This section has information on a variety of the most common mental health issues students face, including:
- Stress. A natural part of every student’s life, stress can pile up and cause problems if you don’t develop strategies for dealing with it.
- Anxiety. Panic attacks, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are just a few of the many anxiety disorders that can affect college students.
- Depression. Have you ever felt down for an extended period of time? Depression isn’t something you can just shrug off, it’s a serious mental illness. If left untreated, it can be life threatening.
- Suicide. This is an unfortunate reality on college campuses. Find out what warning signs to look for and how you can help a suicidal student get help.
- Grief. Mourning the death of a friend or family member can be very hard to do when you’re juggling assignments and exams. We have tips on how to cope with grief without letting your grades suffer.
- Anger. We all get mad, but for some people, anger management is a serious problem. Use the information here as a starting point for learning to control your rage.
- Homesickness. Some students have a harder time than others leaving home and embracing their new lives on campus. We can help.
- Body image. Pressure from peers and the media has led many college students to develop unhealthy body images. We discuss the unrealistic expectations that many students have and strategies for learning to love the body you have and not obsess over the body you’ll never attain.
- Learning disabilities. College is hard for even the most gifted of students, so it can be a nightmare for those with learning disabilities. Luckily, campuses across the country are beginning to make special accommodations that allow students to overcome a learning disability and achieve great things.