Call to Action…a Need for Change

18 12 2009

Mental health disorders are a growing concern on college campuses. Research shows that stress and anxiety disorders have increased substantially over the last thirty years. Thousands of college students silently suffer from depression, anxiety, social phobias, and eating disorders. Studies indicate that college students are more frequently using campus counseling services to cope with mental illnesses. College wide changes on campuses across American can improve the mental health of millions of students. What can you do to help???

The Anxiety Disorders Association of America offers the following suggestions:

A Call to Parents: Parents of college students should consider both academic and nonacademic resources available to help their children have a successful college career. Before selecting a university, parents should research the options available to students who may experience problems with the college transition. As a parent, help your child identify and locate college health services.

When students call home, parents should pay attention to the worries, stresses, and fears their child expresses. Fears and anxieties are a normal part of college life; however, if these fears seem out of the ordinary, a parent should help their child seek help. Parents should also listen to the mood of their child. As a parent, be mindful of your child’s happiness, sadness, or distress.

A Call to Students: If you see your peers, friends, or roommates struggling with the signs of an anxiety disorder, help them. Talk with your friend about their feelings and encourage him or her to seek help from a professional at the college health center.

A Call to College Staff: Colleges and universities should inform their staffs about the rise of mental illnesses on campuses. During new student orientation sessions, colleges should supply students with information on mental illnesses. Colleges should help students feel less embarrassed about seeking support from professionals or peers. Academic advisers should know to refer students to counseling services. Universities should also inform students on the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and available treatment options.




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