About a week ago I had to write a speech for one of my classes. I had to choose a topic and convince my class to think and feel the same way.
After wracking my brain for a couple of days on what to write about I finally decided I wanted to write and talk about the mental health situations on college and university campuses.
I realized after giving my speech though, something needed to be done further. These statements, staggering statistics and changes need to be heard nationwide, not just by my 20 classmates.
Mental health is a huge problem on college campuses, and it is time we all step up and do something. We cannot turn our backs and ignore the problem anymore.
75% of lifetime cases of mental health conditions by the age of 24.
In the United States, 40 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety and 16.2 million have been diagnosed with depression, according to The Anxiety and Depression Center of America. Out of those number 25% are college students.
That is us. Our generation. Our friends. Our peers.
The mental health in our generation is declining at faster rates than it ever has in history.
In the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, it states that the percent of students who have indicated that they "feel sad or hopeless" almost every day for two weeks, 14 days, rose from 28% in 2007 to 31 percent in 2017. Another survey conducted by Chardon State College stated that almost 73% of students living with mental health conditions experienced a mental health crisis. That is almost half the students in crisis dealing with it on their own. 31% of college students have felt so depressed in the past year that it was hard to function and more than 50% have felt overwhelming anxiety, making it hard to succeed academically.
A lot of universities and colleges are blind to these statistics. Putting deadlines on paperwork, not accommodating classrooms and living situations and not funding the counseling centers needed.
College is a huge change in a students life, and with mental health complications and problems that stress can be even more damaging. From theguardian.com, in a Student Experience Survey, it showed that nine in 10 (87%) of first-year students find it difficult to cope with the social or academic aspects of university life. While this is true and many decide to go to health services, wait times are 2-4 weeks for a first appointment. If someone is in serious need of help, 2-4 weeks is not the answer.
These statistics are heart-wrenching. The idea that so many students are living with these illnesses and not getting the help they need is sickening. But what is even more sickening is what results come from it all.
Suicide, due to mental health, is now the second leading cause of death among college students. Second. 1,000 college students take their lives each year on college campuses.
So when are we going to do something about it?
When are we finally going to admit this is a problem and fix it?
The answer needs to be now.
Mental health on college campuses and in college students is sad and sickening. The idea that so many of your daughters, sons, peers, and classmates are suffering from no way of getting help is pathetic.
We need to be the reason these statistics change for the better, let's start doing something before it too late; because that time is fast approaching.