There is no shortage of difficulties these days surrounding the subjects of addiction and mental health. Something that comes up periodically is the mental health of those on college campuses who, arguably, face the largest amount of stress of any other group and who are not receiving the help and mental health care that they need.
Why Do We Ignore Mental Health in University Students?
Sadly, a lot of people look down on university-age students and discount them as being “spoiled, coddled,” and pampered. This dismissal does a lot of harm to these young people who have legitimate difficulties and only receive scorn. College students may have privilege, in being able to attend higher education, but that doesn’t take away from the difficult things that they go through. Unfortunately, this attitude persists and “an entire generation is demonized as reliant and narcissistic.” This narrow viewpoint not only prevents those individuals from seeing the truth about their children, friends, and relatives, but also impedes these students from getting the kind of aid that they really need.
For example, an incredibly high number of these students suffer from issues of mental health. They often begin their college career and continue all the way through with “overwhelming anxiety exacerbated by the highly competitive atmosphere of their university.” Most experiences are similar, laden with stress, anxiety, and depression, which are only worsened by the use of drugs and alcohol or by the pressures of teachers and parents. Not many are well-equipped to manage this busy lifestyle and suffer as a result.
What is needed is for those who are actually working on the campus to create programs and spaces to aid these individuals. Counseling and health centers as they are now don’t seem to be making much headway, or at least, students aren’t visiting them enough to see results. Depending on the circumstances, either new strategies need to be developed in order to nudge students toward this assistance, or the places themselves need to be restructured so that they function as successfully as possible.
Some schools have already begun to take new steps toward this goal of trying “to decrease stigma and increase access to a variety of mental health and well being services.” Many young people are averse to seeking out mental health care because of what their peers might think, which is part of the problem. Making mental health care more normalized will certainly aid in this endeavor and will encourage more people than ever to seek out the help that they need. That means getting this message across to everyone involved, “from students and teaching, through to academics and support staff.” Without individual efforts, the demographic at large won’t make much progress.
Part of this is also the attitudes with which we discuss this age group’s mental health, whether speaking about it with them or without them present. Changing the way that we think about these issues changes the discussion, and only then can we hope to make solid, tangible changes on college campuses. If you concerned about drug or drinking habits in your college student, or if she or he is suffering from issues of mental health, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]