Mental Health & College Students

A serious health concern that often goes unnoticed is the alarming presence of mental illness on college campuses.

Why college students?

  • Studies show that 75% of mental health conditions begin by age 24.
  • Recent Studies show that 79% of college students are between the ages of 18 and 24.

It seems that there is a rise in the prevalence of mental illness in students today. According to research, “Ninety-five percent of college counseling center directors said the number of students with significant psychological problems is a growing concern in their center or on campus.”  Mental illness, if left untreated can be very debilitating. NAMI states that “64 percent of young adults who are no longer in college are not attending college because of a mental health related reason”.  Nearly 50% of students suffering from a mental illness never seek help from their college or university. When asked why not, the number one response was a concern of stigmas.

However, it must be stated that it is not only the lack of interest in services that causes students to go untreated. In addition to fear of stigmas, many students who do seek help aren’t getting the proper treatment that they need. Surveys show that “19 percent of directors report the availability of psychiatric services on their campus is inadequate.”

Just how many students are affected?

  • The National Association of Mental Illness website says that more than 25% of college students have been diagnosed with a mental illness in the past year.
  • According to the 2002–2003 National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), “Almost half of college students met the DSM-IV criteria for at least one mental disorder in the previous year.”
  • “A recent survey done at Berkley in 2006 “found that 45 percent of graduate students polled said they had a mental health issue that affected their well-being or academic performance, and almost 10 percent of respondents reported they had considered suicide in the past year.” This may be linked to grueling academic demands and the overbearing amounts of stress that accompany it.

If you are a graduate student in need of immediate help please call 1-877-GRAD-HLP.  This is a toll free hotline open 24 hours a day that will put you in contact with a counselor who is particularly trained in helping graduate students work through their personal issues.

We at NoStigmas want you to know that help is never more than a phone call away.  It is always important to be aware of the mental health services that your school provides.  Even if you aren’t currently suffering from a mental illness, the chances that you or someone you know would benefit from help are very high.  Please take the time to look at our website to learn more about mental health and the stigmas that prevent people from getting the help they need.


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