Promoting Student Mental Health
Updated: Feb 2, 2020
While in school it is stressful juggling work and other responsibilities while experience mental illness can make it difficult. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one and five youth aged 13-18 live with mental health issues develop them prior to the age of 24. During pursuing your education, you will experience many challenges that will impact your capacity for being successful. Concerns regarding stress, family, relationships, body image, and alcohol and drug abuse can lead to issues and distress in daily life.
Students who previously felt nervous during public speaking but suddenly experience overwhelming panic understandably struggle to figure out what changed. Factors such as significant life changes, politics, family, academic pressure, relationship issues, and money can all contribute to changes in mental health. NAMI also reports that exercise, sleep, and diet can help students feel better or worse, depending on how well they take care of themselves.
Left untreated, these issues can become debilitating and even life-threatening. If you feel that you may be experiencing these issues or find yourself concerned for a friend or peer, it is important to take action now.
And don't forget: you're not alone. Mental illness is very common among students today. According to mental health research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
One in four students have a diagnosable illness
40% do not seek help
80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
50% have become so anxious that they struggled in school
While a variety of other mental health concerns are both topical and common among students today, this article limits itself to five prevalent issues: depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, and addiction.
Depression among college students comes in many forms and, in a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors in 2013, 36.4% of college students reported they experienced some level of depression. According to the study, depression is the number one reason students drop out of school, and is a gateway issue that, if left untreated, could lead to other symptoms or even suicide. Depression is a common but serious illness that leaves you feeling despondent and helpless, completely detached from the world. It can interfere with your life, making important everyday tasks such as working, studying, sleeping, and eating difficult. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain likely caused by a combination of genetics, and biological, psychological, and environmental factors. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression is the most common mental disorder.
Stress and Anxiety
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that one in eight children are affected by anxiety, yet 80 percent of those with a diagnosable anxiety disorder do not receive treatment. By going without counseling, medication, and other helpful tools for treating anxiety, children are likely to experience long–reaching issues. Anxiety disorders have been on the rise in K–12 children since at least the 1950s and studies show that numbers are expected to continue rising in the coming years.
Anxiety can be a normal part of childhood if experienced in phases, but students with continued symptoms often have a treatable anxiety disorder. Stress and anxiety hinder academic success more than any other non-academic factors. In addition to hurting concentration, both can lead to racing thoughts, poor judgment, and impaired memory. On the emotional spectrum, depression, agitation, and the inability to relax can result, leading to procrastination or, for some students, self-medication with drugs and alcohol. Anxiety and stress may also manifest themselves physically, causing students to suffer from nausea, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and chest pains.
Want to get affordable student options for mental health in Davie, Florida? Call 954-480-3348 to book an appointment or for round-the-clock assistance!