Colleges Challenged with Mental Wellness Needs
The growth in mental health concerns on college campuses presents higher education with a unique problem to deal with.
Numerous reports and studies have detailed a consistent rise in mental health conditions amongst college, and graduate students at universities across America.
The pandemic and the uncertainty of education format made it difficult for universities to focus on the mental health of their students. Additionally, due to economic recession, schools were unable to invest significantly in the mental well-being of their students. A combination of recent social unrest in America relating to systemic racism, social isolation, and economic downturn, has led to a budding mental health crisis on college campuses across America, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Additionally, surveys distributed to higher education staff have come back with results detailing their knowledge that mental health is the fastest-growing problem for modern universities. 92% of administrators said that the mental health of their students was a top priority, and 88% said the same concerning the mental health of their employees.
With the high profile and utterly saddening stories of multiple suicides at Rowan University in New Jersey, and others around the country, educators are beginning to see the impacts of education systems that are not designed to monitor student wellness.
Within student bodies, often some of the most stressed individuals are the athletes, who are expected to maintain excellence both on and off of the field. This comes at a cost, as many student-athletes struggle with stress, and other mental health issues. 30% of students with mental wellness problems report their symptoms, but when analyzing athletes only, this number drops to only 10%.
While the acknowledgment and awareness of this issue is critical, this issue can only be mediated if institutions decide to offer more support to their students, specifically student-athletes. Not only are students feeling depressed, but they are also not seeking care at a high rate. To help solve this problem, institutions must not only make these resources available to students, but also make them easily accessible, and acceptable to do so.
The Zone is focused on putting mental wellness care in every student athlete’s pocket, so they can feel and perform at their best.