Mental illness is a topic that affects every person at every age. A big social group that experiences many mental health issues is that of College Students. College students are entering a different lifestyle than they are used to, thus introducing them to a slew of new experiences and opportunities to make independent choices without constant adult supervision from parents.

There are several startling mental health statistics found amongst college students across the United States. Mental illness is, unfortunately, a battle many young adults struggle with, and as a result, this has major effects on their future.

A question of focus is: Mental health is a huge problem amongst college students, but exactly how is it affecting students, and how many does it affect?

Startling statistics suggest a need for change

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 75% of mental health concerns occur before the age of 24. Several colleges, like Mercy College in New York, offer free mental health screenings each year for college students. These screenings can take place at any time during the year; however, many colleges offer them during the first week of October as that is National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

In a recent survey taken by the American Psychological Association, "52.7 percent of students surveyed reported feeling that things were hopeless and 39.1 percent reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function” in previous months.

Unfortunately, many students fear seeking help as they do not want to be judged or feel as if they have failed. On the other hand, students with depression have lower graduation rates than students without a mental health issue. Therefore, it is important to make sure college campuses offer adequate and accessible mental health care services for students, while also trying to reduce the stigma directed towards mental illness.

In addition, NAMI reports that 64 percent of students stated they dropped out of college due to a mental health concern. The survey reached students in 48 states and Washington, D.C., excluding Idaho and Vermont. Not only are students struggling with mental illness, but mental illness is forcing students to sabotage their futures.

College is meant to help people better themselves and learn new tools to use in the workforce. For many, however, mental illness is preventing this from happening.

What causes mental health issues in young adults?

When people enter college, they can be overwhelmed by many factors which include but are not limited to pressures, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy eating habits, not getting a good night's sleep, and learning to balance classes, friends, homework, jobs, athletics, and leadership positions. College allows more independence and freedom, but also requires more responsibility. This can be challenging for many as it is a different life experience.

Overall, mental health is an important issue on college campuses, and it is evident that students need help and guidance.

Thousands of students are missing out on opportunities because they are too afraid to seek help, and/or have no support system. Many ultimately end their lives in an act of desperation. In conclusion, Anonymous quotes, "We need to change the culture of this topic and make it okay to speak about mental health and suicide."

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