August welcomes the start of a new academic year for most universities and colleges. Whether it is her first year of college or she is a senior preparing for their last year, higher education is a pivotal moment in a woman’s life.
Unfortunately, for some women mental health and substance abuse issues disrupt the college experience. Sleep deprivation and excessive workload can cause major devastation to a student’s wellness. According to a survey from the American College Health Association, 55 percent of women reported being overwhelmed by anxiety, 33 percent reported serious depression and 7 percent of women had contemplated suicide.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is another major concern for women in college. Women are at higher risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event such as a mugging or sexual assault. The 2007 Campus Sexual Assault study reports nearly 1 in 5 women were sexually assaulted while attending college. Along with PTSD, these survivors often struggle with depression and substance abuse.
Recognizing and confronting these issues quickly can prevent further disruption in a young woman’s health. Mental illness and substance abuse impact all aspects of a woman’s life including academia, work, family and her own self-worth. Taking time away from college to address any mental, emotional and physical issues may be a necessary step in order to heal and recover.
As an inpatient treatment center that serves the unique needs of women, Brookhaven Retreat understands the emotional and mental stress women feel while attending college, and the aftermath of experiencing a traumatic event.
This school year, Brookhaven Retreat encourages women to treat their physical, emotional and mental health as a top priority, especially when making the stressful transition to higher education. This means establishing healthy habits and coping skills, as well as seeking professional treatment when needed. By confronting mental health, substance abuse and emotional issues as they arise, young women are able to successfully continue their education without the distraction and life-long devastation that can accompany emotional breakage.