Drastic increase in mental health problems among young students, finds study

Drastic increase in mental health problems among young students, finds study

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 5 children have experienced a serious mental health condition and lifetime prevalence of any mental illness among 13-18-year-olds is 46.3 percent.

In a recent study, researchers at the Ulster University highlighted a drastic increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in young students, who enter the university to continue their study. According to Siobhan O’Neill, professor of mental health sciences at the university, there is a possible role of social and academic pressure on students in deteriorating their condition. In addition, young people handling part-time jobs with studies were also found to be afflicted with poor psychological health.

Spreading awareness about mental health problems is necessary

The study coincided with Mind Your Mood, an awareness campaign launched by Student Support at the university, aimed at making students aware of the importance of mental health while providing therapeutic support to those with anxiety or depression. The professor stated that the study seems to be one of the biggest with 900 students. It reported the occurrence of mental health problems in 78 percent young individuals who are receiving higher education. While 33 percent reported suicidal thoughts, around 20 percent had self-harming tendency.

The researchers raised their concerns over such high figures that were enough to tell how students are suffering in silence. They saw this study as a great opportunity to help students struggling with mental health problems in an enclosed environment like a university and try to tackle the stigma surrounding it, so that students could feel confident enough to talk about their health.

O’Neill said, “More young people are talking about mental health which is really positive but there are still a lot who don’t seek help. We have a number of specialist services in place, including a helpline and free counselling. We urge students to use these and get help. We want to try and help them while at university before it impacts on their employment and careers.” He added that a lot of money is invested in educating people but very less is done in helping students cope with their mental health. He also found that young men were particularly hesitant to talk about their mental health, which could be one of the contributing factors to higher suicide rates. The study also busted the notion of hiding one’s emotions because men usually come up with a tougher exterior. However, men too are vulnerable to certain emotions and need to seek professional help for their mental health issues.

Tips for good mental health

Here are some effective ways that can help people deal with mental health issues.

  • Sharing what one feels is an effective way to deal with stress and anxiety. People should be honest with themselves and others. Letting their loved ones know how they are feeling can help vent out negative feelings, and maintain and retain healthy relationships.
  • It is important to accept one’s condition rather than running away. One should forgive himself or herself for mistakes, whether big or small, and be more patient in coming to terms with the reality. At the same time, one should feel proud and reward oneself for doing well in life’s critical situations.
  • Diet and physical activity are important pillars of optimum mental health. Eating healthy, avoiding processed food, ditching alcohol and limiting caffeine are extremely beneficial. Sparing some time for exercise can help people stay happy and motivated. In addition, it is important to take time to relax. Indulging in a favorite activity or pursuing a hobby of interest gives mental peace.

Seeking treatment for mental health problems

Mental health problems can affect anyone, irrespective of age and gender. Ignoring or hiding it for long may lead to further complications. Therefore, one must seek the right treatment at the right time. The California Mental Health Helpline provides useful information about various treatment modalities as well as various mental health facilities in California. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-559-3923 or chat online to locate some of the best psychological rehabilitation centers in California.