Mental health on college campuses has been a well known widespread issue for many years now. Even on the UD campus there are many flyers and posters spread about various locations with information on how to receive counseling as well as numbers for hotlines. Student Health Services houses counselors that students can visit to receive help if they feel that they are not well mentally.
College campuses are a virtual breeding ground for mental health illnesses, as the transition away from home to living independently on a college campus can be extremely hard for many incoming students. Additionally, students must learn to deal with the stress of schoolwork, loans, jobs, relationships, and the stress of living in such close proximity to so many of their peers. Altogether college is a very difficult period in many students lives which is why we see the prevalence of mental disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder in so many college students.
According to statistics provided by the Chadron State College 1 in 4 college students have a diagnosable mental illness. However, much less than this amount of students are ever actually diagnosed because many campuses fail to provide the proper support. Student’s often feel unsure of how they can receive help or do not feel comfortable using the resources available to them. Unfortunately, lack of help to those who need it can sometimes lead to suicide in student populations. One of the reasons mental health on college campuses has been focused on by the media so often in recent years is because of the number of suicides that have occurred at high profile universities. For example, the suicide of the star UPenn runner who ran off the roof of a parking garage on campus.
There are multiple ways that we can raise awareness and help improve the and lower the instances of mental illness and suicide on college campuses. Some of these include lowering the stigma around mental illness. The way that issues such as depression and bipolar disorder are portrayed in movies and tv shows vary extremely from the realities that many students face on an everyday basis. Educating the student body would help provide an environment more conducive to helping those in need.