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College can prove difficult for many different reasons: the most obvious is the stress and strain that come with performing well academically. But there are other stressors that prove significant. The stress that comes with balancing school work combined with the stress of fulfilling other responsibilities and catering to one’s personal and social needs can lead to serious mental health issues among college students. Here are some important facts and statistics:  

Common Mental Health Issues on College Campuses  

  • More than 11% of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year.
  • More than 10% of college students reported being diagnosed or treated for depression in the past year.
  • Over 40% of college students felt a significant amount of stress over the past 12 months.
  • More than 80% of college students felt overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities in the past year, and 45% felt hopeless.
  • Nearly 73% of college students with a mental illness experienced a mental health crisis on campus.
  • In the past year, 7% of college students have “seriously considered suicide.”
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students.

The Impact of Mental Illness on Academic Performance  

  • Students said that depression and anxiety were major impediments to academic success.
  • In the past year, 31% of college students have felt so depressed that it disrupted normal functioning.
  • In the past year, over 50% have felt overwhelming anxiety, which made it hard to succeed academically. 
  • Approximately 64% of young adults who are no longer in college stopped attending because of a mental health related issue.

College Students Are Not Seeking Mental Health Help  

  • 50% of college students who stopped attending college due to mental health related issues did not receive mental health services.
  • Over 45% of young adults who stopped attending college due to mental health related issues did not request accommodations from their school.
  • Overall, 40% of college students with a mental illness did not seek help, and 57% of them did not request accommodations.
  • The main reason these students don’t seek help is fear of stigma.

More Mental Health Help and Support Needed on College Campuses  

  • Without proper treatment, young adults with a mental illness are more likely to receive lower GPAs, drop out of school, or be unemployed.
  • College students have stressed the need for these services on campus:
    • Mental health training for faculty, staff, and students.
    • Suicide prevention programs
    • Mental health organizations run by students
    • Student health centers
    • 24-hour crisis hotlines
    • Individual counseling services

  If you are a college student and you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health problem, make sure you receive the proper mental health help and support. There are counselors out there who specialize in helping their clients with specific disorders and those who specialize in helping young adults. In the case of an emergency, leave this page and utilize one of these services. Help is out there. 


If you were seeing a counselor online, which is best?
Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

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