Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece.
I started college this past August and can honestly say that it gets overwhelming at times. With projects, studying and being so far from home, it’s starting to get to me. There will be times where I’ll be sitting in my dorm doing work and all of a sudden, I’ll start thinking about home, my parents and my friends. Sometimes I just break down and start crying. I visited the school’s counseling center and the psychologist working there pointed out that I might be dealing with depression brought on by homesickness. This is a bit hard to deal with but I’m confident that I can get through it.
A college education has long been the ultimate goal for students and parents across the nation. In fact, efforts to get high school graduates into a higher-education institution seem to have paid off over the last few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69.7% of 2016 high school graduates enrolled in college or a university. While these numbers are impressive, it’s important to remember that college comes with great responsibilities, and for many students, an even greater concern about mental health.When mental health issues are ignored or swept under the table, things can dangerously worsen. Click To Tweet
A 2013 survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that, out of the college counseling center directors surveyed, 95% of them agreed that significant psychological problems in campuses are a growing concern. When it comes to mental health issues, it’s important to keep some of the most impactful information in mind, including that:
- Anxiety, depression and relationship problems are the top concerns in college students with each measuring at 41.6%, 36.4% and 35.8%, respectively.
- 21% of students who visit college-counseling centers have severe mental health concerns, while 40% have mild mental health concerns.
- Common concerns include suicidal ideation, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, ADHD and self-injury issues, each measuring at 16.1%, 9.9%, 9.2%, 8.9% and 8.7%, respectively.
What’s Being Done
When mental health issues are ignored or swept under the table, things can dangerously worsen. Fortunately, colleges across the nation have services, such as advisors, counselors and counseling centers, that can serve as starting points for students who are looking to start a conversation about their problems. The University of South Florida (USF Tampa) recently crafted a plan aimed at reaching students who are currently in crisis and as well as those who are unsure if they need help.Know that college counseling centers are great to get conversations about mental issues started. Click To Tweet
This is all being done to address the staggering number of students looking for help, which has risen by 55% since 2009 across the State of Florida. The plan, which will allocate $1.5 million for mental health services, will introduce new wellness coaches – who will address milder needs – counselors and online programs to help students at a moment’s notice. Faculty, staff and students will additionally be trained to look for symptoms of mental distress.
Know that college counseling centers are great to get conversations about mental issues started. However, if significant mental healthcare is required and a student’s needs are greater than what a college-counseling center has to offer, ongoing professional therapy in the community may be needed. In fact, according to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, about 9% of counseling center students were referred to community providers for continued mental health services.
At Rice Psychology Group, we understand that college life can come with its fair share of problems. This is why we’re ready to offer a helping hand to college students in need. If you, your child or even a friend has spoken to a college counselor about these issues and know that continued therapy is the key to feeling better, know that our Tampa team of psychologists is here to help.
We’re ready to listen to your story in a relaxing and comfortable environment designed to help you feel at ease. Our goal is to continue the work started with your college counselor to help you feel like yourself again. For more information about our services, contact Rice Psychology Group in Tampa today.