As more students struggle with depression and suicidal ideation, mental health has become an increasing concern for college campuses across the US. In fact, lifetime mental illness diagnoses increased from 22 percent in 2007 to 36 percent in 2017, according to a recent study published in the journal Psychiatric Services.
The good news is that more college students are seeking help – numbers rose from 19 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in the 2016-2017 academic year. And they are seeking mental health care on campus, with rates increasing from 6.6 percent in 2007 to 11.8 percent in 2017. Researchers analyzed 10 years of data collected for the Healthy Minds Study, an annual web-based survey examining mental health, use of mental health services and related issues among undergrads and grads.
Another positive finding is that both perceived and personal stigma regarding mental illness is on the decline. The percentage of students who agreed with statements like “most people think less of a person who has received mental health treatment” or “I would think less of a person who has received mental health treatment” dropped from 64.2 percent to 46.0 percent and from 11.4 percent to 5.7 percent,
Unfortunately, these trends are straining counseling centers who have limited resources and who “operate at full capacity with waitlists for much of the year,” the researchers wrote. To better meet the treatment demand and reduce strain, experts are advising campuses to expand capacity and to increase the use of preventive and digital mental health services like apps, wrote Sarah Ketchen Lipson, PhD, EdM, of Boston University School of Public Health and colleagues.
Students can also take steps to safeguard their mental health during college, including prioritizing sleep, eating well, exercising regularly and making time for relaxation and socialization. Another big step: Never self-medicate. Drinking or using drugs can worsen symptoms of depression or thoughts of suicide and increase your chance of addiction.
Help for Co-Occurring Disorders
Many people struggling with addiction also find themselves caught in the painful grip of depression and other mental health issues. Family Recovery Specialists understands the sensitive relationship between substance abuse and mental health problems. Our Miami addiction rehab uses evidence-based treatment approaches that focus on the whole person in the mind, body, spirit and social realms. To learn more about our co-occurring disorder treatment, call today: 305-595-7378.