Survey Finds Most Students Worldwide Struggled With Mental Health Amid Pandemic

COVID-19 Higher Education News by Erudera News Dec 07, 2021

mental health support

56 percent of undergraduate students participating in a survey conducted by Chegg, an American education technology company, claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their mental health.

The survey has involved 16,839 undergraduate students from 21 countries around the world aged 18–21 and was assembled between October and November of 2020, Erudera.com reports.

Students participating in the survey came from the following countries:

  • Brazil
  • US
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • France
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • China
  • Russia
  • Italy

Of these, 81 percent said that they had experienced increased stress and anxiety, and 17 percent have sought support for mental health issues.

90 percent of students in Italy said that their stress and anxiety have increased amid the pandemic. Similarly, 87 percent of students in Argentina and Brazil, respectively, also highlighted increased levels of stress and anxiety.

Moreover, 15 percent of all surveyed students said that they have contemplated ending their life, 8 percent have self-harmed, whereas 3 percent of students attempted to commit suicide.

22 percent of students who considered ending their own life are from Italy, 21 percent from Australia, 19 percent from Canada, and 17 percent of students who have also considered committing suicide are from Brazil.

A report by the nonprofit organization One Voice Canada published earlier this year has revealed an increase in death cases by suicide among international students in Canada, according to which the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.

“International student suicides have become a disturbing trend in Canada. This mirrors the international suicide problem for the last decade in Australia,” the report noted.

Responding to the question “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement:‘My mental health has suffered during Covid-19.’”, 76 percent of international students in Brazil said that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened their mental health.

At the same time, at least 70 percent of students in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom said that their mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health problems have been reported in lower numbers in the following countries:

  • South Korea (39 percent)
  • China (38 percent)
  • Russia (29 percent)
  • Italy (25 percent)

56 percent of students from the 21 countries feel optimistic compared to 26 percent who feel pessimistic, but overall, students from every country participating in the survey feel more optimistic than pessimistic.

14 percent of students said that they have experienced verbal abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic, 5 percent reported cyberbullying, 3 percent physical violence, and 3 percent sexual harassment.

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