In today's fast-paced world, factors like peer pressure, bullying, and exams can ruin a student's emotional zeal and wreck the academic graph.
If that is not enough, parental squeeze, sexual abuse, competition, and social disconnect may further make a student lose focus, which in turn can play havoc on their mental health.
Child and adolescent mental health, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and two other childcare institutions, was declared a national emergency in 2022, which meant that understanding the mental health of students is now more critical than ever before.
Understanding Mental Health Concerns of Students
Understanding the types of mental health issues faced by a college student can go a long way in identifying the symptoms and locating valuable community resources to help cope with them.
A majority of mental health disorders in college students begin in the early twenties when preparing for higher education can contribute to raised levels of stress.
During this time students are usually overburdened with assignments and academic activities that add stress, which in turn has a major impact on their mental health.
If left unchecked, mental health issues can affect energy levels, and cause depression that can contribute to low grades which may eventually end up with the student dropping out of school.
As a result, the campus will have to bear the burden if a student performs poorly and the college will incur loss of fees, tuition, and alumni donations, not to forget the physiological impact on the teaching staff and the larger community on the whole.
Educational institutions on their part should therefore give the same level of importance to mental health as to physical health and academic performance.
They should provide a safe and supportive environment in the college for students to thrive and an easy avenue to address their mental health needs.
Why is Mental Health Important for Students?
Stress at a young age is not healthy, but once you admit that you are struggling with mental turmoil, then you are well on the road to recovery.
Good mental health is crucial for overall well-being and can greatly influence the ability of the student to find success in this competitive world.
The first step, therefore, is to recognize the symptoms of poor mental health and address them with care and compassion before things get worse.
A student spends most of their time in an educational institution, hence the people they meet, the things they observe, and their behavior, all have an impact on their overall development.
For example, if a student with high grades suddenly slips, the destructive criticism that may result is bound to make them feel low and guilty.
Here it is important to understand the psyche of the individual and find the cause or the lack of concentration that may have triggered the poor scores.
The importance of mental health in students is simply undeniable. If you take it lightly, it may lead to severe disorders in the time to come. Proper health is vital for increased creativity, learning, and developing a positive relationship in society.
With good mental health, one can thrive in academic life with ease, build relationships more effectively, make the right decisions, and work together.
Students struggling with mental health may find it difficult to concentrate in the classroom and understand concepts. They may retain less of what they are taught which may impact their achievements.
Poor mental health in students may result in low attendance and less participation in extracurricular activities, stunted progress, and decreased social growth.
On the other hand, students with a positive state of mental well-being, who receive support from families, schools, and social circles retain information more effectively and progress rapidly toward graduation.
How to Improve Mental Health in Students?
Here are some ways to help your students who might be suffering from mental illness
- Allow your students to raise their voices and gain confidence, without fear of negative repercussions, and ask them to share about the things happening in their lives.
- Motivate them that they possess special qualities and promote positive self-esteem.
- Promote students to focus on mindfulness activities.
- It's not limited to training and losing weight, good nutrition helps maintain good physical and mental health. Therefore teach the importance of a healthy diet.
- Encourage students that daily exercise improves mood.
- A promising environment at college allows students to gain confidence and cope with stress and physical activity and create an innovative mind.
- Involve both parents and teachers in the learning process.
Online Therapy To Tackle Mental Health for Students
Counseling services can be made available to students in a private space and at their chosen time via a HIPAA-compliant secure live video connection.
Once you get connected to the right therapist, usually within 24 hours there are no waiting times, no spending hours commuting to the office, and most importantly no fear of running into peers.
Moreover, online therapy works in much the same way as a visit to a physical office and not only is as beneficial as face-to-face appointments but cost-effective as well since it eliminates the need for transportation and reduces overhead costs of the providers.
Students can access help to manage a range of mental health issues from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, family issues, and relationship problems, apart from difficulties with attention.
Lastly, online therapy is substantially cheaper, assuming free community resources are not sufficient in addressing one’s problems.
The other benefits of an online classroom are:
- Reduces instances of bullying
- Reduces feelings of anxiety
- Less peer pressure
- Opportunities for students to learn together with families
- Relieves the pressure of making friends and dressing to fit into a real-life school environment.
- Greater flexibility in daily schedule and pace
Incorporating it all up
In the end, it is important to remember that mental health problems are very much treatable and there are a number of treatments available for the same.
Effective treatment and right support have proved very effective in recovering from mental illness and have helped students to go on and lead healthy and fulfilling lives.