There is a critical need to understand how pervasive mental health challenges are and how treatable they are. The Surgeon General’s Office states that, “Mental and emotional health is just as important to our overall well-being as our physical health. Mental illness is responsible for more disability than any other group of illnesses. Positive mental and emotional well-being allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.”
National Institute of Mental Health
statistics tell us that more than 50 million people or 24% of our country’s population over the age of eighteen will experience some form of mental health challenge during any given year. Poverty, unemployment, and victimization from war, genocide, domestic violence and community violence place individuals at a much higher risk for mental illness. The increases are seen in depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Studies have also indicated that by the year 2020 the second leading cause of disability in the world will be major depression. International studies indicate that from 30-40% of people in a given population will experience mental health challenges at some point during their lives. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and for every death by suicide, there are 25 attempts.
The important thing to realize is that the majority of these people can recover through the use of new medications and therapies. Many individuals with mental health challenges are enrolling on our campuses and we need to be prepared to help them.
College Student Population: Growing Need