Tyler Kingkade of the Huffington Post writes that from 2009 all the way through 2015, reports of mental health concerns have been on the rise for college students in regards to anxiety, depression, and social anxiety. Although the need for services has steadily increased, Kingkade talks about how many campuses are experiencing understaffed departments to help address these concerns. The main reasoning for this is because of the budgeting factors that happen on a college campus, and also because of universities putting their priorities into other resources. Kingkade’s article not only displays factual evidence that supports these trends, but also brings a self interest in regards to how college officials can act as more of helping resources for students.
To begin with, one of the most interesting points brought up was the fact that out of 100,736 college students nationwide, “20% of students seeking mental health treatments are taking up about half of all campus counseling center appointments” (Kingkade, 2016). The information was based off of a study conducted by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University. This statistic is one that comes across as surprising for numerous reasons. First of all, this shows that students are addressing more of their own mental health issues heads on by seeking out help. Although these numbers can be slightly different overall nationwide, it does show that many students are utilizing the many benefits the counseling centers have to offer. In addition, this displays the idea that college can be a stressful time for students not only because of the numerous life changes that go along with it, but also because this is the first time in numerous student’s lives that they are learning how to adjust to a new environment. These numbers show that students are trying to maintain proper self-care by utilizing campus resources and assistance.
Another interesting idea from the article that needs to be considered in regards to mental health is the idea about “a growing conversation about burnout in college” (Kingkade, 2016). Burnout can be caused from numerous aspects including, but not limited to, students being over involved in campus activities, students positive and negative experiences with academics, association with drama between peers, and even the recreational use of alcohol and drugs. One major effect that can display college burnout is a lack of sleep. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, “one in eight student clients said sleep was a problem for them, a rate that is 30% higher than those who are needing help for alcohol, and almost three times the rate of students who needed help from counseling centers to overcome drug abuse” (Kingkade, 2016). One factor that needs to be considered with this is how students are utilizing their time management skills in school, as well as how students utilize self-care in their own retrospects. When a student does not retain the proper hours of sleep or feels lacking in mental state, the effects on students can be drastic overall.
Finally, one major component that needs to be considered in this article involves numerous campuses and their main focuses. According to Ben Locke, executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, many universities based their budgeting off of “some kind of historical calculation of the number of students enrolled and previous rate of students requesting appointments” (Kingkade, 2016). This shows how many universities are essentially looking into the past to guide the future of a college program or service. College campuses need to reform how budgeting systems work not only because of the need for mental health services across the nation, but also because looking back to the past does not always create efficiency for a university.
Overall, people can look at each of these factors and offer various solutions to help with the situation. The main aspect that needs to be considered through all of this is how successful is an institution being in helping students with current needs. By looking at the increasing needs of students, a university can be more proactive to help with the increasing number of mental health cases with students within the United States, and possibly the world.
Kingkade, T. (2016, January 13). The Number Of College Students Seeking Mental Health
Treatment Is Growing Rapidly. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from Mental Health Treatment On College Campuses