Colleges See Rise in Mental Health Issues: NPR

On Morning Edition/NPR this past week, they had a story: Colleges See Rise in Mental Health Issues.

“They may not tell their roommates or even close friends, but on college campuses all across the United States, more students than ever before are seeking psychiatric help, according to recent national surveys of campus therapists.”

This story is close to my heart, so I was so glad to see that this issue was getting some coverage. I think the rise in numbers of student seeking help may actually reflect well on the college mental-health system. It could very well mean that more students feel comfortable enough to see a professional. After all, as a full-time college student, one is eligible to receive some free (at least from what I know) mental health care. It was the spring semester of my junior year when I first sought the help of the student health center’s staff psychiatrist.  It still wasn’t easy to seek help, but I am so glad this system was available to me. Had there not been such service available in this way, I would have never found a way to receive anyone’s help.

The increase in the use of college mental-health facilities should not be of such great concern (of course, it should always be of some concern). First, the average age of onset for many psychiatric conditions matches the age group of most college students. Second, being in college is probably the first time anyone has such open access to mental health services where they themselves can determine whether to seek help (not many kids would easily be able to ask their parents to take them to a psychiatrist). If anything, these findings should encourage the schools to further assess their plan in handling the larger caseloads as well as treating the students more effectively.


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