College and Depression Series (Part 1)

Here are some stark stats from the American College Health Association’s 2011 National College Health Assessment[1] of more than 27,000 students from 44 different colleges. These percentages represent the number of students who felt these issues at least once during the 12 months prior to the study being done:

–          86.1% of students felt they were overwhelmed by all they had to do

–          45.2% of students felt things were hopeless

–          30.3% “felt so depressed it was difficult to function”

–          About 50% “felt overwhelming anxiety”

–          6.6% “seriously considered suicide”

–          5.2% “intentionally cut, burned, bruised, or other injured” themselves

–          1.1% attempted suicide

These staggering numbers are not likely going to improve any time soon, either, as students continue to pay more for college and often feel like they do not have much to show for it. One of the biggest concerns on top of the level of suffering students are experiencing is that colleges often do not have enough counselors to properly help them.

This article on schools in Wisconsin tells a story that is common around the country. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee only has “one counselor of every 4,300 students”. That is not even close to being acceptable. One person is not capable of properly helping that many students.

The International Association of Counseling Services recommends that there is one full-time counselor for every 1,000-1,500 students. Even that is not nearly enough. Students need to feel that someone can help them right away when they need it, and that is not the case on most college campuses.

We at ACEP think it is important to bring a spotlight on these issues. Over the next couple weeks, we will be posting articles that deal with the problems faced both by college students and their parents, and also how we think energy psychology programs could be a possible solution for colleges trying to help their students not only overcome emotional hurdles, but to thrive in this world of increasing competition and complexity.

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