The Effects Of Mental Illness On College Students Essay

The Effects Of Mental Illness On College Students Essay

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Although usually hidden from the public view, a significant number of college students suffer from mental illness. What does it actually mean to suffer from a mental illness? According to Holley A. Belch, “Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning” (Belch, 2011, p.75). Upon consideration of this definition, the relevance of mental illnesses pertaining to the college population seems more applicable. College is often a challenging period in an individual’s life, during which the development or escalation of a mental illness is readily seen. Stated by Kneipp, Kelly, and Cyphers, (2009) “they are often confronted by many new and overwhelming experiences” (p.188). Throughout college, students’ susceptibility to academic, social, and emotional vulnerabilities are increasingly higher. Any form of mental illness has the ability to appear in this environment; however, there are particular illnesses that are more commonly found on college campuses. These illnesses include depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. In addition, there are an increasing number of people with mental illnesses seeking a post-secondary education. Therefore, a colleges’ and universities’ approach to the care and treatment of their students with mental disabilities is an expanding concern.
Substantial increases in college attendance among students with psychiatric disabilities occurred between 1978 and 1998 from an estimated 2.6 percent to 9.0 percent, respectively. More recently, estimates indicate students with psychiatric disabilities represent 15 to 20 percent of this subpopulation. (Belch, 2011, p.76)
Many are perplexed by this increas...


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...Kraft, 2011, p.477). This was a significant period for mental health initiatives as there were an increase of professionals in the mental health field and positive medication treatments established. Colleges and universities still lacked the mental health support that students needed, however. As a result, students began dropping out because they were unable to control and stabilize their emotional health, resulting in a negative impact on their college success. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century when many colleges and universities began to set up programs providing students with psychiatrists. Even though mental health was being better promoted, physical health still remained the focal agenda. There were still no counseling centers available on campuses as many refused to accept believe that physical health alone would not cure one’s overall health.

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