According to Psychology Today, college students are part of a demographic that is struggling with a psychopathology and collective stress level that is greater than in any other era in the history of the U.S.
What are the Reasons for the Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses?
College students, especially those who live on campus, are injected into a perfect storm when they leave the insulated environment of their homes to engage the more open and exposed environment of the college campus. There are a plethora of risks and high-stress factors related to life on campus that can make it difficult for the average student to cope.
One of the innate pressures associated with being a college student is the stress associated with earning good grades. Anxiety correlates directly with theses pressures, and needs to be treated anxiety treatment. While some students are on scholarship, there are others whose parents are financing their college education; either way, if the student does not maintain acceptable grades, they could have their funding revoked, not to mention that their grades can impact their earning potential after graduation.
Many students will also attempt to engage in a committed relationship, which is an added and complex pressure. With each added stressor, there is a growing need for coping skills. To exacerbate the matter, college campuses provide an environment in which the student will have a higher level of access to illicit and prescription drugs, which puts them at a greater risk to develop other conditions such as alcoholism and depression addiction treatment.
Improving the Manner in Which Colleges and Universities Approach Mental Health
In the not-so-distant past, the response of many colleges to the obvious signs of mental illness was to remove the student from the student body. According to an article in Newsweek, a Princeton University student who overdosed on anti-depressants after a hostile encounter with his girlfriend led to a temporary psychotic break was forced to withdraw from the school and undergo an over-intensified readmission process the following year.
Instead of attempting to assist the student in meeting their mental health needs, the student was ostracized. Fortunately, the legal action that resulted from responses like those of Princeton have resulted in colleges taking a more proactive approach in helping their students manage the stress, while also ensuring that they have the necessary resources to find the support they need.
Although the campus may not be prepared to meet every mental health need, there are residential treatment centers and outpatient programs that are equipped to help students develop the coping skills necessary to successfully manage the stress and pressure that is so common among college students today.