Serious mental health needs seen growing at colleges

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The mental health needs of college students are on the rise. Whether the problem is related to an increased awareness of mental health or changing societal stressors, psychiatric events among college students are increasing. National surveys reveal that almost half of the students who visit counseling centers have serious mental illness, a rate more than double that of a decade ago. Stony Brook University in New York, for instance, recently logged three student trips in three days to a psychiatric emergency room. One student that was taken to the emergency room posed the question on Facebook, “if I died would anyone notice?” Another student swallowed a fist full of Xanax late one Saturday night. Dr. Hwang, who has developed programs in the area to train students and staff members to help prevent suicide, commented, “It’s so different from how people might stereotype the concept of college counseling; back in the 70s students were coming in with existential crises: who am I? Now they’re bringing in life stories involving extensive trauma, a history of serious mental illness, eating disorders, self-injury, alcohol and other drug use.” The New York Times wrote a well-rounded article on the subject; click here to have a look.

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