Mental Health

Mental Health & College Campuses: How Stress Affects Student Performance

Kiira Student Health Contributor

For many people, college is one of the most exciting times of their lives. You’re learning new things, meeting new people, and exploring the world independently for the first time. However, for many people college can also be a very stressful time. In fact, as many as 44 percent of college students have reported experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and many students experience other mental health issues as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways that negative mental health can affect college students. 

What is causing mental health issues in college students?

There are a variety of factors that contribute to mental health issues in college students. Today’s college students are more stressed out than ever, and there are a variety of reasons for that. One big factor is academic pressure. Many students feel huge pressure to succeed, and this can come from many different places - family members, professors, or even themselves. This can feel even more overwhelming for students who aren’t sure what they want to study or what career path they want to take. 

Many students also struggle with financial stress during their college years. Between tuition, textbooks, and housing costs, college can be very expensive. Not every student has financial support from their family, which means they have to work one or more jobs to stay afloat. This is a huge cause of stress for many students. 

Finally, many college students have to adjust to life away from their family and hometowns for the first time ever. This new routine can feel overwhelming for many students. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. Many students were forced to take remote classes and limit social gatherings, which contributes to a feeling of loneliness.  

These mental health issues can have a huge negative effect on students during this time. Poor mental health can make it very difficult to attend classes, complete assignments, and get good grades. Additionally, mental health issues can make it very difficult to socialize and connect with other students, which further exacerbates this sense of loneliness.  

What can colleges do to prevent mental health problems?

Because mental health problems have become so prevalent among college students, it’s very important for schools to address them proactively. One of the most important ways to do this is to talk openly about mental health issues without shame or stigma. Starting the conversation about mental health helps students feel more comfortable reaching out for help when they do experience mental health issues. 

It’s also crucial for students to have access to mental health support when they need it. This means access to both in-person and online therapy services as well as peer counseling. If schools cannot offer these resources themselves, they should be able to connect students with off-campus organizations that can provide them. 

Additionally, professors and other staff members should be educated about the symptoms of common mental health issues. This way, they can identify them in their students and point them towards mental health resources if necessary. Additionally, instructors should be able and willing to give reasonable accommodations to students struggling with mental health issues. This can minimize the sense of academic pressure that often makes mental health issues more intense in college students. 

Awareness is key when preventing mental health issues in college students. Finding balance can help students enjoy this time in their lives rather than feeling overwhelmed or isolated. 

Here at Kiira Student Health, we strive to create positive healthcare experiences for students which include safe spaces and receive the right healthcare support they need. Please contact us if you would like to bring Kiira to your school.