By: Anna Schroeder:
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, around 1 in 5 adults in America experience some form of mental illness each year. The extreme change of environment and added stress that college brings only increases mental health issues in students. The Active Minds website claims 39% of college students suffer from some significant form of mental health issue.
More and more people are talking about mental health today, and an increasing number of colleges and universities provide services to aid students with the stress of school. Some examples of programs that colleges across America have established are: counseling centers, disability centers, mental health centers, advocacy groups and National Alliance on Mental Health clubs.
While the stigma against discussing mental health has dramatically decreased over the last few decades, many people, including college students themselves, believe that there is still more to be done to aid those who struggle with mental health issues in school.
Various students attending Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts have raised concerns about how much is being done to aid students who are struggling with their mental health.
Assumption College offers free counseling services for all of their students. “The counseling staff provides confidential personal counseling, self-assessment, and alcohol and drug education to full-time undergraduates at no charge.” The counseling services page on Assumption’s website also includes links to information on eating disorders, sexual assault, suicide prevention and more.
Rose Horell, a Junior at Assumption College, discussed the school’s mental health program in an interview on Tuesday afternoon, saying, “I know they have services that you can book an appointment online, so it’s pretty accessible, but I’ve never utilized Assumption’s counseling services because they’re always booked up and there’s never an appointment available when I’ve tried.”
Horell expressed she is glad Assumption has counseling for their students, but said she believed “there’s always more we can do to help those struggling with mental health.”
Meghan Forde, a Junior at Assumption, suggested ways the school could improve their program. “We should follow up on how they (counselors) are doing. Give the students a survey to see how the services are” Forde said.
Margaret Brennan, also a Junior at Assumption, had additional suggestions. “They should have a mental health program in student leader training. First years seem to have the most trouble with stress, anxiety and depression, so I think we should train student leaders on mental health” Brennan said.
Brennan also said, “I think every student should go through some mental health training when they come into college, and that the school should expand the counseling center staff and hours.”
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-827-7571
United Way Crisis Helpline: 1-800-233-HELP
S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends): 1-800-DONT-CUT
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Drug Abuse National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357