Trigger Warning: The following story contains information about several mental health disorders prevalent among college-aged women.
When you search “mental health” and “college” online, there is one phrase you are bound to see: Crisis.
Campuses across North America strive to provide students with a welcoming environment and promote services that provide help for those who seek it. In today’s society, there are many that seek it. While enrollment numbers steadily climb, the demand for counseling services has skyrocketed at a rate five times the enrollment growth.1 A 2016 survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found the following:
“Anxiety continues to be the most predominant and increasing concern among college students (50.6%), followed by depression (41.2%), relationship concerns (34.4%), suicidal ideation (20.5%), self-injury (14.2%), and alcohol abuse (9.5%) On average, 26.5% of students seeking services take psychotropic medications. However, 22% of directors report the availability of psychiatric services on their campus is non-existent.2”
What is causing this uptick is unclear. There are speculations that the interconnectedness of our lives via technology and the constant state of busy are contributors. Others feel as though these numbers always existed, but they stayed in the shadows undiagnosed or unwilling to take on the stigma of mental health.
So why talk about this “mental health crisis?” Because we need to. More open and honest conversation allows for people that struggle with conditions such as depression to realize that they are not alone. There is no weakness in admitting that we need assistance to balance. More open and honest conversation allows for people without diagnosed conditions to understand what unintentional harm can be caused by throwing around common terms like “depressed’ when you just have a rough day.
We need to talk about mental health. With an epidemic amount of violence and suicide in our society, the topic of mental health is more important than ever.
Do you feel like you or someone you love may be in crisis? You don’t have to be a mental health professional to help someone in your life that may be struggling. Lifeline3 lists five steps that you can use to help a loved one that may be in crisis:
ASK. KEEP THEM SAFE. BE THERE. HELP THEM CONNECT. FOLLOW UP. Learn more at #BeThe1To
Interested in learning more? Check out our sources and more: