41% of US College Students Report Depression in 2022/23, Universities Stepping in to Help

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 22, 2023

student experiencing mental health issues.jpg

The number of students reporting depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues has increased worldwide, and the need to get help is clear, various studies show.

According to a survey by the Healthy Minds Network, an organization focusing on youth mental health, 41 percent of college students in the United States have reported symptoms of depression in the 2022/23 academic year, and 36 percent said they are experiencing anxiety.

The survey of about 7,000 US college students also found that 14 percent have considered suicide in the past year, Erudera.com reports.

Another report released by Healthy Minds based on web surveys of 96,000 US students from 133 campuses in the 2021/22 academic year showed that overall, 44 percent of students have reported experiencing symptoms of depression, 37 percent anxiety, and about 15 percent said that they have considered suicide.

According to the report, the proportion of students considering suicide is the highest rate recorded in the survey’s history.

Universities are stepping in to help them in this battle. After the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick Carnes, a policy professor at Duke University, added a note to his email signature, telling students they should reach out if they are not feeling well, The Times reports.

“Please let me or another Duke professor know if you’re having any problems with your safety, well-being, or access to educational or other resources, or if you need to talk about anything right now, and/or if you know of another student who is having trouble. When in doubt, please reach out,” the note read.

The same source reports that the professor has not deleted the note even three years after the pandemic, as there is no apparent reason to do so.

Another research by the American College Health Association (ACHA-NCHA) revealed that 60 percent of students have been experiencing overwhelming anxiety, and half said they have dealt with severe depression, which made it difficult to function.

As mental health concerns rise, more people are also reaching out for support. The annual Healthy Minds Study reveals that over a third of students - a record number, have admitted to attending one or more therapy sessions during the year.

The proportion of students attending therapy or counseling sessions has increased from 30 percent to 37 percent between 2020 and 2022, the most significant increase from 2018.

Earlier this year, Yale University changed its mental health policy, allowing students who need rest to take up to four terms of leave and return to campus when they feel better.

Recently, Binghamton University announced it is investing in mental health support for students and staff.

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