Mental health is a very complex issue that truly doesn’t get talked about as much as it should.
Though the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook has brought this issue to the forefront of society’s concerns, for college students, mental health problems are no stranger. There are countless disorders an individual could be suffering from, and sometimes even identifying the symptoms can be daunting.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2009, a survey was conducted and found that nearly 30 percent of college students experienced depressed feelings so strong that those students were unable to function. Other than that this percentage is considerably high, the statistic shows just how much of an impact only one issue can have on young adults.
There was another survey done in 2011 by the National Alliance on Mental Health involving 765 college participants. According to the survey, an overwhelming 73 percent of students stated that they had experienced a mental health crisis during college.
While the number of participants could be considered low, it cannot be ignored that this information is still a glimpse into the realm of mental health on campuses. A mental health crisis, whatever the reason, is one of the hardest experiences a person can go through.
Having a mental health crisis or suffering from a disorder is paralyzing, and it is so hard for college students because these four years should be the time when a person is creating a future. When a devastating illness of the mind moves in, it can easily shatter everything a person has worked toward.
Students may not be able to complete homework or even go to class, and the inability to do those things, even if just for one week, can severely handicap or even ruin a semester. Plus, with the recently amended federal SAP policy and attendance policy at Shepherd, it may not ruin just the semester but one’s chances of completing college entirely.
The study by the National Alliance of Mental Health also found that around 65 percent of students who no longer go to college stopped attending because of a mental health related reason. This means that more than half of students are robbed of a higher education because of a crippling disease of the mind.
It is absolutely vital that every college student be aware of possible symptoms, red flags, and where to go for help. Shepherd has a counseling center located in Gardiner Hall, available for free by appointments Monday through Friday. Or, if students don’t feel comfortable utilizing those services, they should talk to their guardians or call the counseling center for referral information.
A student’s time at Shepherd should be an enjoyable experience, one free from problems such as anxiety and depression. Yet these startling statistics have shown that more students are suffering from mental health issues than ever realized.
Before a serious mental health issue can progress and have damaging effects, college students should seek help while it is readily available. By getting help now, it can turn graduation and future endeavors from being just a dream into reality.