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Mental health struggles have always been a prevalent issue, yet it’s only recently that it’s been brought to the forefront of discussions. College students are no exception to this struggle with more and more students experiencing mental health issues. This is driving students to contemplate dropping out, leading to a decline in graduation rates. A recent survey conducted by the Healthy Minds Network found that over 75% of students consider themselves stressed, and over 42% of students state they are so anxious it affects their day-to-day activities. Mental health concerns impact students both emotionally and academically, often resulting in students leaving college due to their inability to stay afloat amidst their struggles.
Access to Mental Health Services
College students often complain about the lack of mental health resources on campuses, which makes it difficult for them to seek help. With limited services and long wait-lists, students find it challenging to seek professional help. Those who do overcome the initial hurdle may have a hard time accessing quality mental services, as mental health providers on campuses are overwhelmed with the number of students seeking help. The lack of support for students struggling with mental illness makes it that much more difficult for them to remain in college.
The academic life of a college student involves a lot of work, leading to constant stress and anxiety. Mental health struggles such as depression and anxiety can impact a student’s academic life, making it difficult for them to keep up with their schoolwork. It’s not uncommon for students to skip classes, miss assignments or fail exams because of their mental health issues. This, in turn, sets them back, leading to more anxiety and resulting in a deterioration of their mental health.
Daily Life Challenges
Daily life can be overwhelming to college students dealing with mental health issues. Everyday activities that other students take for granted, can be an extreme challenge to those struggling with mental illness. Simple things like shopping, eating, and socializing can become impossible to manage alone, leading to self-isolation and further worsening of mental health.
The cost of attending college is exceedingly high for most students, with a significant portion of the cost coming from personal or family savings. When students’ mental health struggles force them to leave school, the financial implications can be significant. Students may have to forfeit money invested in tuition fees, books, and other college expenses, making it challenging to return to college if they choose to do so later. Financial strains can cause further anxiety and stress, leading to a worsening of mental illness.
Seeking Help and Hope
The stigma surrounding mental illness often prevents students from seeking help. There are several options available for students to get help, with the most common approach being therapy. There are several healthcare providers that offer online counseling services, which can be more accessible and affordable. Students who feel overwhelmed can make use of on-campus resources such as counselors, student support groups, or the student health center.
Self-help is also an approach students can use to manage their mental health. Involving themselves in activities they enjoy such as sports or music and taking the time to relax and practice mindfulness can provide an outlet for managing their stress levels.
Students who are dealing with mental health struggles can still find a way to achieve their academic goals with a little bit of time management help. It can be beneficial to adjust their course loads or establish a more efficient study schedule. Seeking help can provide a sense of hope, and help students realize that they are not alone in their struggles.
In conclusion, mental health struggles among college students are driving more and more students to contemplate dropping out. The decline in graduation rates can be attributed to the lack of mental health resources on college campuses, leading to a lack of support for students with mental illness. Mental health struggles can impact a student’s academic, personal, and financial life, making it challenging to stay in college. It is essential to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourage students who may need help to seek support. By doing so, students can learn new coping mechanisms and develop a healthy perspective towards their struggles, allowing them to stay in school and reach their graduation goals.