As recent high school graduates adjust to the pressures of attending college, it’s natural for them to experience stress. What happens when that stress transitions into something more? According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 50 percent of students struggle with their schoolwork due to anxiety. Unfortunately, 75 percent of students suffering from depression do not actually seek help due to stigma, confidentiality and financial concerns.
As a parent, professor or student advisor, understanding and acknowledging the signs of depression can help you advocate for a student’s mental health. Depression is more than feelings of sadness; lack of interest in activities and negative changes in academic performance are also signs that a student may be struggling with depression.
In addition to encouraging a student to see help, the Mayo Clinic suggests three ways to help with anxiety:
1. Time. Students are often overwhelmed with managing schoolwork and other responsibilities. Encourage them to make a priority or to-do list and invest in a planner to avoid undue stress.
2. Care. Exercise, healthy diet and adequate sleep are all important in a healthy lifestyle. Refer to our recent self-care blog for additional tips.
3. Fun. Campus clubs and events are great places for students to interact with one another and try something new with friends.
If you recognize anxiety as a growing problem within your school and students may be experiencing depression, consider implementing a program such as TimelyMD. Through the platform’s TherapyNow and Scheduled Counseling services, students are able to speak with licensed mental health providers for free, 24/7/365. Every provider is specially trained in student and college-aged issues. Learn more at https://timely.md/for-schools/.