College presents a unique combination of challenges for freshman students and those returning after summer break. For some, the stress of academic achievement intensifies after high school, and there is also the increased pressure of living away from home for what might be the first time.
The average college student is still going through the adolescent stage of brain development, although they may look like fully-grown adults. Decision-making and risk-taking behaviors among most college students put them at increased risk for mental health issues.
- 80% of college students surveyed feel overwhelmed by responsibility.
- One out of every four college students has a diagnosable mental illness.
- For 50% of college students, anxiety challenges their academic performance.
- No more than 60% of college students experiencing mental health issues seek help.
- Of the college students who have committed suicide, only about 15% got counseling on campus.
- Approximately one out of every 12 college students makes a suicide plan.
- More young adults of college age die from suicide than from all other illnesses combined.
- One-quarter of all serious adult psychiatric issues present between the ages of 18 and 25.
- Most college students are in the age range that is least likely to seek help for mental health issues.
- More than half of college students who experience suicidal thoughts tell a friend before consulting a mental health professional.
Depression in College Students
There are many reasons why depression can develop in college students. Most of the mental health issues faced by this population can lead to depression if not treated, and the availability of mental health counseling on many college campuses is not adequate. College students are mostly of an age where seeking help is not an instinct they have fully developed yet, or the social environment that they are in may position getting mental health treatment as something to be ashamed of.
Society can put a lot of pressure on college students to achieve. The academic competition can be fierce, and the financial burden of paying for college also becomes a factor for many. Stress is the number one enemy of good mental health, and can be an even bigger factor than genetics.
As we learn more about depression and the adolescent brain, the rate of mental health issues among college students continues to rise. Many campuses cannot keep up with the demand for mental health services. It is important to seek counseling as soon as you think there might be a problem, even if you have to go off-campus to do so.
If you are the parent or friend of a college student who is struggling with mental health issues encourage them to seek help and assist them in doing so if necessary.
Know When to Ask for Help
Brookhaven Retreat treats mental health issues in young women. By offering a women-only treatment environment, we can focus on the specific mental health needs of women who are college age and older. To learn more about how Brookhaven can help your college-age daughter or friend face depression or other mental health challenges, contact us today.