Severe Mental Illness on The Rise in College Students

Severe Mental Illness on The Rise in College Students – College and University can be a stressful time in anyone’s life, as many of us know from experience. However, studies have shown that the rate of severe mental illness in college students has risen greatly, according to data release on Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Assn. in San Diego.

3,265 college students who used campus counseling services between September 1997 and August 2009 were used in the collection and analysis of data. Mental disorders, suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior were what the students were screened for, to see if there was any rise of fall in numbers.

In 1998, 93% of the students seeking counseling were diagnosed with one mental disorder, compared to 96% of students in 2009. The percentage of students with moderate to severe depression rose from 34% to 41% while the number of students on psychiatric medications increased from 11% to 24%.

The percentage of students having suicidal thoughts after receiving counseling had dropped though, 26% in 1998 to 11% in 2009. This is a good sign, and it may show that the procedures in place to deal with suicide prevention are doing the job they are supposed to do.

The question does remain however, why are there such high instances of mental health problems in young students? Is there too much pressure and stressed placed on the future leaders of this nation? Or is it perhaps more social and superficial than grades and marks?

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