Representational image. (Pexels)
Representational image. (Pexels)

Study reveals depression, anxiety, loneliness are peaking in college students

The study of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels.
ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 20, 2021 02:40 PM IST

The findings of a recent survey by a Boston University researcher revealed that a majority of students say that mental health has had an impact on their academic performance.

The study of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality.

"Half of the students in fall 2020 screened positive for depression and/or anxiety," said Sarah Ketchen Lipson, a Boston University mental health researcher and a co-principal investigator of the nationwide survey published on February 11, 2021, which was administered online during the fall 2020 semester through the Healthy Minds Network.

The survey further reveals that 83 per cent of students said their mental health had negatively impacted their academic performance within the past month, and that two-thirds of college students are struggling with loneliness and feeling isolated--an all-time high prevalence that reflects the toll of the pandemic and the social distancing necessary to control it.

Lipson, a BU School of Public Health assistant professor of health law, policy, and management, said the survey's findings underscore the need for university teaching staff and faculty to put mechanisms in place that can accommodate students' mental health needs.

"Faculty need to be flexible with deadlines and remind students that their talent is not solely demonstrated by their ability to get a top grade during one challenging semester," Lipson said.

She added that instructors can protect students' mental health by having class assignments due at 5 pm, rather than midnight or 9 am, times that Lipson said can encourage students to go to bed later and lose valuable sleep to meet those deadlines.

Especially in smaller classroom settings, where a student's absence may be more noticeable than in larger lectures, instructors who notice someone missing classes should reach out to that student directly to ask how they are doing.

"Even in larger classes, where 1:1 outreach is more difficult, instructors can send class-wide emails reinforcing the idea that they care about their students not just as learners but as people, and circulating information about campus resources for mental health and wellness," Lipson said.

And, crucially, she said, instructors must bear in mind that the burden of mental health is not the same across all student demographics. "Students of colour and low-income students are more likely to be grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID," Lipson said. They are also "more likely to be facing financial stress." All of these factors can negatively impact mental health and academic performance in "profound ways," she said.

At a higher level within colleges and universities, Lipson said, administrators should focus on providing students with mental health services that emphasise prevention, coping, and resilience. The fall 2020 survey data revealed a significant "treatment gap," meaning that many students who screen positive for depression or anxiety are not receiving mental health services.

"Often students will only seek help when they find themselves in a mental health crisis, requiring more urgent resources," Lipson said. "But how can we create systems to foster wellness before they reach that point?" She has a suggestion: "All students should receive mental health education, ideally as part of the required curriculum."

It's also important to note, she said, that rising mental health challenges are not unique to the college setting--instead, the survey findings are consistent with a broader trend of declining mental health in adolescents and young adults. "I think mental health is getting worse [across the US population], and on top of that we are now gathering more data on these trends than ever before," Lipson said. "We know mental health stigma is going down, and that's one of the biggest reasons we are able to collect better data. People are being more open, having more dialogue about it, and we're able to better identify that people are struggling."

The worsening mental health of Americans, more broadly, Lipson said, could be due to a confluence of factors: the pandemic, the impact of social media, and shifting societal values that are becoming more extrinsically motivated (a successful career, making more money, getting more followers and likes), rather than intrinsically motivated (being a good member of the community).

The crushing weight of historic financial pressures is an added burden. "Student debt is so stressful," Lipson said. "You're more predisposed to experiencing anxiety the more debt you have. And research indicates that suicidality is directly connected to financial well-being."

With more than 22 million young people enrolled in US colleges and universities, "and with the traditional college years of life coinciding with the age of onset for lifetime mental illnesses," Lipson stresses that higher education is a crucial setting where prevention and treatment can make a difference.

One potential bright spot from the survey was that the stigma around mental health continues to fade. The results reveal that 94 per cent of students say that they wouldn't judge someone for seeking out help for mental health, which Lipson said is an indicator that also correlates with those students being likely to seek out help themselves during a personal crisis (although, paradoxically, almost half of the students say they perceive that others may think more poorly of them if they did seek help).

"We're harsher on ourselves and more critical of ourselves than we are with other people--we call that perceived versus personal stigma," Lipson said. "Students need to realise, your peers are not judging you."

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
GATE answer key 2021.
GATE answer key 2021.

GATE answer key 2021 released, here's direct link to check

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:09 AM IST
  • GATE answer key 2021: Candidates who have appeared in the GATE 2021 examination can check the answer key online at gate.iitb.ac.in.
Close
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant. (PTI)(HT_PRINT)
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant. (PTI)(HT_PRINT)

New site for IIT to be announced in a month, says Goa CM

PTI, Panaji
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:57 AM IST
The earlier site, in Shel-Melaulim in Sattari taluka, had to be scrapped after people in the area protested.
Close
Officials at the Venkateswara College said they have not received any communication either from their management or the Andhra government yet.(HT file photo)
Officials at the Venkateswara College said they have not received any communication either from their management or the Andhra government yet.(HT file photo)

Andhra govt seeks to affiliate Venkateswara College with Andhra University

By Fareeha Iftikhar, Srinivasa Rao Apparasu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:20 AM IST
According to an official from the Andhra Pradesh(AP) chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office, the CM had written a letter to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on February 12.
Close
Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the posts at upsc.gov.in till 11.59 pm on or before March 18, 2021.(Arvind Yadav/HT file)
Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the posts at upsc.gov.in till 11.59 pm on or before March 18, 2021.(Arvind Yadav/HT file)

UPSC Recruitment 2021: 89 vacancies for various posts notified, check details

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:40 PM IST
  • The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has invited online applications to fill 89 vacancies for various posts, including that of Public Prosecutor. Assistant Public Prosecutor and Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil).
Close
Students appear for the SSC exam at a Mahim school in March 2020. This year, the exams have been postponed to April amid the pandemic and the resultant lockdown. HT PHOTO
Students appear for the SSC exam at a Mahim school in March 2020. This year, the exams have been postponed to April amid the pandemic and the resultant lockdown. HT PHOTO

SSC SI in Delhi Police, CAPFs results 2020 declared at ssc.nic.in, check here

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:26 PM IST
  • SSC CAPF, SI result 2020: Candidates who have appeared in the SSC SI Paper I examination 2020 can check their results online at ssc.nic.in.
Close
Even with 50% attendance, colleges are worried about bringing students back on campus. (HT Photo)
Even with 50% attendance, colleges are worried about bringing students back on campus. (HT Photo)

Govt First Grade Colleges in Karnataka to be provided debonded desktop computers

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 08:04 PM IST
The government first-grade colleges in Karnataka will be provided with 12,500 debonded desktop computers as part of the Help Educate.
Close
Representational image. (AP file)
Representational image. (AP file)

Maharashtra govt ties with Udhyam to introduce entrepreneurial programme in ITIs

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:53 PM IST
Co-created by DVET and Udhyam, this 50-hour programme is experiential in nature and promotes learning by doing.
Close
All 525 eligible students of IIM Bangalore were recruited for summer placements by over 130 companies, which made 529 offers.(Mint/file)
All 525 eligible students of IIM Bangalore were recruited for summer placements by over 130 companies, which made 529 offers.(Mint/file)

Maruti Suzuki partners IIM Bangalore to nurture 26 start-ups in mobility sector

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:11 PM IST
The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India along with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) will nurture 26 start-ups in the mobility sector.
Close
Delhi University.(HT file)
Delhi University.(HT file)

Delhi University to train 2,000 Singapore students in Indian dance, music

PTI, Singapore
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:06 PM IST
University of Delhi to train 2,000 Singapore students in Indian dance, music
Close
Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also said the NEP allows students to be more creative in their chosen fields.(REUTERS)
Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also said the NEP allows students to be more creative in their chosen fields.(REUTERS)

National Education Policy to make India knowledge capital of world: Piyush Goyal

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:38 PM IST
The National Education Policy focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development, and it will make India the knowledge capital of the world, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Close
DDA Patwari Stage II admit card 2020.(Screengrab )
DDA Patwari Stage II admit card 2020.(Screengrab )

DDA Patwari Stage II admit card 2020 released, here's direct link to download

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:00 PM IST
  • DDA Patwari Stage II admit card 2020: Candidates who have cleared the DDA Patwari Stage I examination can download their admit cards for the Stage-II examination online at dda.org.in.
Close
RBI Grade B admit card 2021.(Screengrab )
RBI Grade B admit card 2021.(Screengrab )

RBI Grade B admit card 2021 released, here's direct link to download

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:37 PM IST
  • RBI Grade B admit card 2021: Candidates who have registered for the RBI Grade B examination 2021 can download their admit card online at rbi.org.in.
Close
NE SLET answer key 2021.
NE SLET answer key 2021.

NE SLET answer key 2021 released, here's direct link to check

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:18 PM IST
  • NE SLET answer key 2021: Candidates who have appeared in the NE SLET examination 2021 can check the answer key online at sletne.org.
Close
Candidates who taken the SSC Junior Engineer (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Quality Surveying & Contracts) Examinations 2019 Paper 1 can check their results on the official website ssc.nic.in after they are announced.(HT File)
Candidates who taken the SSC Junior Engineer (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Quality Surveying & Contracts) Examinations 2019 Paper 1 can check their results on the official website ssc.nic.in after they are announced.(HT File)

SSC JE 2019 Paper I Result expected today, here's how to download

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:08 PM IST
  • SSC JE 2019 Paper I Result: Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is likely to declare the results of SSC JE 2019 Paper I examination on Friday, February 26.
Close
UPJEE 2021.(Screengrab )
UPJEE 2021.(Screengrab )

UPJEE 2021 registration begins at jeecup.nic.in, here's direct link

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 02:42 PM IST
  • UPJEE 2021: Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the UPJEE (Polytechnic) 2021 examination online at jeecup.nic.in.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP