Editorial: It is no surprise mental health is an issue at colleges

(File photo/The Daily Campus)

The first response many college students give when asked how they are feeling on any particular day is one simple word: stressed. With classes, extracurricular activities, health, a social life, homework, jobs and plenty of other things to keep up with, it is not surprising that students are stressed out most of the time. We all feel stress daily, to the point where it has become a regular emotion rather than one reserved for particularly demanding things. With all of this in mind, it seems almost obvious that mental health issues are rising among college students, yet there are still some who do not realize the large presence that mental health issues can have on a college campus.

At the University of Connecticut, the number of students requesting services for mental health-related reasons has been growing over the past years. Between the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years the number of students visiting Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) increased from 1,563 to 2,831. This almost a 100 percent increase over just one academic year. Again, with all of the responsibilities and commitments that college students make, especially those at UConn and other highly ranked and competitive schools, it is easy to understand why more and more students suffer each year.

Things like anxiety (specifically social anxiety) and depression have been on the rise in young people for years. However, with all this research and evidence to support the fact that more students are suffering, it is important to remember the ways in which UConn and other communities are working to raise awareness for and combat mental health issues. At UConn, students have opportunities to seek help both through CMHS and other outlets on campus like the psychological services clinic. Of course, students can also receive help by confiding in friends and mentors and simply reaching out to those around them.

Despite having resources around campus to turn to if mental health becomes an issue for students, it is still incredibly hard to be satisfied with the increased number of students suffering from mental health-related issues. While college is stressful for everyone, there comes a point when the things expected of students cause stress levels to become unhealthy. Being able to balance the pressures of college life with personal and emotional issues is extremely difficult, and the ever-increasing number of students feeling the effects of this pressure can attest to that. For all students’ sakes, it may be time for colleges to help students not just academically, but mentally and emotionally as well, so the number of students needing mental health services does not continue to rise so drastically.