It is indeed noteworthy that concerned sectors have given their attention to the problems faced by college students in terms of their emotional and mental well being. This was given impetus when the results of a study indicated that there are millions of students are under severe stress, suffering mental illnesses, and engaged in the use of harmful substances.
In a survey involving 123,078 students which was carried out in 2013 by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment, it was found that 51 percent of students experience “overwhelming anxiety”, severe depression for over 31 percent, and suicidal tendencies for 7.4 percent. In another related survey conducted in New York City, it was believed that around 3.8 million students engage in alcohol abuse or use prohibited drugs or substances.
These figures are truly alarming and have opened up discussion among medical experts and school authorities. One expert has remarked that college life is a time of significant stress and pressure and it is during this period that mental illness starts to emerge. For most of these young adults, this is the first time being away from home and these kids may be faced with challenges in making decisions on areas such as self regulation, sleeping, drinking, eating, and making future plans.
Another expert opined that college life can be equated to developmental challenges that can be very stressful. And in meeting these problems, students turn to substance abuse and harmful habits. It has been observed that most students are not good at self-monitoring mainly due to immaturity. These cause a lot of pressure which may be too much for these young adults.
Current Programs and Initiatives
In fairness to educational institutions, they are well aware of these problems and they have programs in place designed to address these concerns. However, they also admit that much can still be desired. For one, there are not enough health providers to deal with the thousands of students. It has also been observed that ongoing frameworks may not be adequate to meet the gargantuan challenge.
Taking these factors into consideration, concerned parties including non-government organizations, have taken initiatives in coming up with solutions to these very pressing problem. Right now, there are already a number of promising programs meant to address the heart of the problem.
Role of Parents
Even with action plans in place, this may not guarantee that problems may be dealt with adequately. The nature of college life may create obstacles to the satisfactory attainment of these goals. Perhaps one action that may be valuable is enhancing the role of parents. Much can be done by parents in the form of guidance, support, and if necessary, getting the assistance of experts to help their children.