Mental health maintenance

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According to a number of recent studies, there is a rise in the concern for the mental health of college students on campuses around the country.

Counselors from 571 colleges and universities participated in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Association for Universities and College Counseling Center Directors Annual Survey (AUCCCD) in 2018. According to the survey, the most frequent type of mental health concern was anxiety (58.9%) followed closely by depression (48%) and stress (46.9%).

With the rise in mental health concerns, there was an expected increase in help provided on campus; however, according to the survey, only 46.6% of directors reported the availability of mental health/counseling services on their campus, and 57% of the campuses that do provide psychiatric services reported a need for more hours of availability to meet student needs.

According to “The NY Times,” mental health professionals say financial burdens are experienced differently by college students and add to their worries. They say students have uncertainty about their career aspects and feel pressured to do well in school or they risk losing potential job opportunities.

Victor Schwartz is a psychiatrist and medical director of the Jed Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides mental health resources for young adults.

“There’s a much more radical feeling that you’re either a winner or a loser,” Schwartz said. “That puts tremendous pressure on college students and is feeding a lot of the anxiety we’re seeing.”

According to the AUCCCD survey, a college student typically has to wait seven business days before being able to schedule their first appointment with a counselor.

Ashley Krause, a senior psychology major, said counseling services are important for college students because college students face a lot of pressure.

“Mental health services are important for college students because of the strain that we are under during this time in our lives,” Krause said. “Because of the high pressure we are under in college, we tend to be constantly changing as individuals. It’s important to foster that growth through counseling.”

FMU offers services through the Office of Counseling and Testing (OCT), located at 121 S. Evander Drive.  Students who are experiencing difficulties in their personal lives, such as depression, stress management, anxiety, relationship issues and academic problems, are encouraged to make an appointment with the OCT.

To schedule appointments, students can call (843) 661-1840 or stop by the OCT.

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