Mental Health & College Success

The impact on Student Performance

American College Health Association (ACHA 2013 Survey Results)
• Mental health problems interfere with student success and are directly linked to retention and academic performance.
• Academic Performance defined: receiving a lower grade on an exam or course, receiving an incomplete or dropping a course, dropping out of college or experiencing a significant disruption in thesis, dissertation, research, or practicum work.

Survey respondents cited that the following problem areas were negatively influencing their performance:

    ♥ Stress: 30.5%
    ♥ Sleep Difficulties: 22.0%
    ♥ Anxiety: 21.0%
    ♥ Work: 14.3%
    ♥ Depression: 12.8%
    ♥ Concern over a friend/family member: 11.7%
    ♥ Relationship difficulties: 10.9%
    ♥ Finances: 6.9%

Student who needs help 

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.

With greater mental health awareness faculty members can be extremely helpful in the rehabilitation of these students. Increased awareness and sensitivity will allow college professionals to assume the role of being effective change agents in the recovery and healing of this special group of students.

More Similar than Dissimilar:
It is important to recognize that we have more in common with people recovering from mental health challenges than differences. We all have physical and mental health needs and we all possess the following:

A Universal Set of Needs
• Need to believe in ourselves
• Need to be respected by others
• Need to be loved and show love
• Need to develop friendships
• Need to belong and have a place called home
• Need to be useful and productive

- Last Updated: 1/8/16