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The Mental Health Crisis Hits College Students Across America

Mental Health Crisis College

It's no secret that mental health disorders are on the rise in the United States and have been for quite some time. While most of us are aware of this crisis, one aspect of it that's gone seemingly unnoticed is the mental health of college students across the country. According to the Institute for Public Policy Research analysis, over the past decade, the number of college students reporting a mental health issue to their university has increased five-fold. This could mean that there are five times the amount of students facing mental health struggles than there were just ten years ago, or perhaps that the stigma surrounding mental health has declined enough to the point that more students feel comfortable disclosing these conditions. Whatever the case may be, the rates of mental health concerns among college students in America are calling our attention and demanding more systems be put in place for supporting students as they transition into life as autonomous young adults.

While there are a variety of mental health disorders faced by American college students today, those that are most prevalent are those associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. This is attributed to the increased exposure to social media, greater pressures to succeed in school, and an increase in competition within a harsh marketplace to become employed upon graduation. Other factors that have contributed to this crisis include an increase in veterans who have returned from deployment overseas and are now enrolling in colleges. Veterans, those who are active military, as well as those who are in the National Guard and reserves are more susceptible to developing a mental health disorder, according to psychologist Paula Domenici, PhD.

According to the National College Health Assessment of Spring 2014, 87% of college students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, 55% feel anxiety that's overwhelming, and 33% said they felt such extreme depression in the past year that it interfered with their ability to function. While only a reported 1/3 of those suffering from mental health concerns seek treatment, some studies are showing that percentages as high as nearly 50% of students on some college campuses are seeking counseling services for mental health concerns. Most college counseling centers are at capacity, and some campuses report spending at least 50% of their time addressing mental health concerns that occupy as little as 20% of the student body.

The American Psychological Association (APA) is currently working with the White House to address this issue. They report that there is an increase in both the number of students arriving on campus with preexisting mental health issues, as well as those who develop them while in attendance. Many believe that stronger mental health interventions and programs should be established for high schools, as well as an increase in counseling staff across universities. Another approach is the development of student groups across campuses as a means of offering extra peer support. The University of Michigan has developed such a program called the Wolverine Support Network on its campus. This program is comprised of students who are available for mental and emotional support for other students on campus.

Mental Health Crisis Higher Education

Equipping Students With Proactive Tools to Fight Mental Illness

While there is certainly a need for greater social and professional support for college students across America today, there's also a need for greater education for these students as to how they can become proactive about their mental health upon enrolling in school. Colleges have done a great deal of work to reduce the negative stigma surrounding mental illness across the board, however, there's still much to be done in terms of treating it. Many students will seek medical treatment which typically entails being prescribed a psychotropic medication. While this may be beneficial for some students, there's a large percentage of individuals who do not respond to such medications. Counseling services are also helpful, but are students being taught natural, holistic methods for combating mental illness when they're not in a therapy session? With the added pressures of achieving academic success, many students do not take into account the dangers associated with mental illness and college, and oftentimes lack the time and energy that it takes to research alternative methods for managing it.

Lifestyle changes are oftentimes attributed to an increase in symptoms, as students often find it difficult to adjust to college life during their first years living away from home. It can be difficult to balance the responsibilities of college and living independently with the newfound freedoms that come along with it. This can lead to poorly balanced schedules, less than nutritious diets, irregular sleep patterns, stress and anxiety management systems that do more harm than good (e.g. using drugs and alcohol, stress-eating, etc.). Academic pressures may also cause students to suffer when it comes to time management, and they may find themselves staying up later, taking more stimulants like caffeine, being more isolated than before, staying indoors more (getting less sunlight), exercising less, and not taking enough time to indulge in healthy amounts of self-care. These are all of the things that are essential for proper brain function and the balancing of neurotransmitter levels which attribute to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and more. A bit of education and attention to the lifestyle habits that are oftentimes taken for granted during childhood and can oftentimes be overlooked while living the “college life” is truly needed.

An Alternative Solution

In addition to beefing up counseling staff and peer support networks, as well as offering substantial education surrounding lifestyle and healthy habits that promote good mental health, there is another solution for helping college students stay proactive about their mental health as they journey through the college experience. Recent research has pointed toward the use of micronutrients for treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar II, psychosis, and trauma. Studies show that the right mix of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids have the power to help alleviate such illnesses, and promote healthy brain functioning and focus throughout the day. The use of micronutrients could be the answer to addressing the mental health concerns of college students across the nation.

There are a variety of micronutrient supplements that are available on the market today, and easy to obtain without a visit to the doctor's office. One such micronutrient which has shown great success in treating individuals with mental health issues is the formula developed by Focus Essentials. This is a premium blend of the most healthy sources of vitamins and minerals available today. While many manufacturers will not include all of the micronutrients needed to create this formula, this brand took the extra time and energy to source a manufacturer who would not compromise the integrity of this most effective blend. Focus Essentials is offering a guarantee for those who would like to try their formula for one month. If the results desired are not received and their supplement doesn't help alleviate your symptoms, they will give you a full refund.

Mental health is a topic of growing interest in America that doesn't appear to be going anywhere. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, or if you'd like to be proactive about your mental health, I highly recommend buying a bottle and giving micronutrients a try.  

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