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1Alan LeirdDecember 5, 2020Examining Mental Health Problems in College Students and the Effects onAcademic SuccessMental health among college students is a growing public health concern. According tothe World Health Organization (WHO), mental disorders account for almost half of the totalburden of disease for young adults in the United States. Additionally, substantial evidencesuggest that mental health problems are increasing among college students. The benefits from animproved understanding of mental health among young adults, and college students particularly,are likely to be substantial. While depression and generalized anxiety are the most common,mental issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm are also a big problem.Mental health problems are increasing in the population of college students. The effect thatmental health has on a students’ academic performance is significant, making the mental healthepidemic particularly important to college students for several reasons. Finding treatment optionsfor students who deal with the repercussions of mental illness would prove helpful with reversingthe academic, social, and general health effects of mental illness.According to a college health assessment done in 2014, “33 percent of students surveyedreported feeling so depressed with the previous 12 months that it was difficult to function”, “55percent reported feeling overwhelming anxiety…87 percent reported feeling overwhelmed bytheir responsibilities, [and] almost 9 percent seriously considered suicide over the past year”(Holterman).Since then, the numbers have continued to increase steadily in all of theforementioned areas of mental disorders/illness. Many students feel excessive pressure tosucceed from both peers and parents alike, which furthers their mental stress and tension—increasing the likelihood of developing mental health problems. Several colleges put a lot ofemphasis on academic success, and not enough colleges take into consideration the pressure they
2Alan LeirdDecember 5, 2020put onto their students. With the incredibly high statistics of college students who suffer frommental health problems, the situation has reached crisis-level, and more than ever, access tomental health services is crucial to a successful college experience.For years, colleges and universities have offered counseling and other resources forstudents struggling with mental health, but “they have existed largely in the background—unadvertised and unutilized” (Imagine America). According to the Agency for Health CareAdministration, historically, only about 10-15% of struggling students seek the help of their