College Student Population

Growing Need
The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) for 2013; indicates that college student mental health issues are more prevalent today than in past years with increases in the following :

• Feeling Overwhelmed
• Alcohol and Substance Abuse
• Family Dysfunction 
• Impact of Violence
• Depression and Bipolar Disorder
• Anxiety, fear, worry 

University and college counseling centers report a shift in the needs of students seeking counseling services from more developmental and informational needs to students needing help with mental health challenges (National Counseling Center Director’s Survey, 2010)

Special Populations with Unique Mental Health Challenges include:
• DSPS Students
• EOPS Students
• Cal Works Students
• Financial Aid Students
• International Program Students
• Students In Recovery

• Single Parent Students
• Intimate Partner Violence Survivors
• Student Athletes
• Distance Ed Students
• Foster Care students
• Students with Criminal Convictions

Student Stressors:
Challenges that can be particularly traumatic or very difficult to handle include:
• Academics
• Career issues
• Death of friend/family member
• Family problems
• Relationships
• Finances
• Health problems
• Sleep difficulties …

Identifying Students in Need:
Be aware of students who:
• Appear sad, hopeless, fearful
• Make direct reference to suicide
• Appear to be “under the influence”
• Are often absent from class
• Seem unable to accept praise or feel success
• Appear withdrawn, isolated or moody
• Have difficulty focusing
• Appear to have difficulty eating and sleeping

The Role of Educators as Effective Change Agents

Educators cannot ignore the fact that our colleges will continue seeing an increase in the enrollment of students recovering or struggling from mental illness. Many students will experience their first psychological problems between the ages of 20 and 35 and instructors can be a student’s first link to help by effectively referring students to service sites for help. Many students will only undergo a single episode of mental illness in their entire lives. We need to remember that the vast majority (9 out of 10 individuals) with mental health challenges can recover with improved treatments. Read More...

- Last Updated: 1/8/16