Higher education institutions in America are the new hotspots of the growing mental health crisis in the country. A new survey conducted by the American Council on Education found a rise in cases of anxiety and depression among students.
More than 400 presidents were surveyed for the College Student Mental Health and Well-Being report at the end of April. Nearly one in three presidents of public and private nonprofit four-year institutions and one in five presidents of public two-year schools reported hearing about students struggling with mental health once or many times a week.
Anxiety and depression were the top two mental health concerns across all sectors with presidents at private nonprofit four-year institutions most likely to hear about students facing both the mental health issues.
A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that 70 percent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 believe that anxiety and depression are major problems among people their age in the communities where they live.
At the same time, 61 percent of students cited getting good grades as a major cause of pressure. Another 29 percent felt pressure to look good, 28 percent to fit in socially, and 21 percent see being good at sports as a cause of pressure.
To address the issues, many presidents are paying increased attention to mental health concerns of their students than three years ago. Most of them said student mental health has become more of a priority on their campus in the last few years.
Recently, many universities across the nation have been focusing more on student mental health and well-being. Last month, the University of Kentucky created a task force comprised of senior officials to review its mental health counseling services provided to students on campus.
Last year, in a similar move, Brown University announced plans to build a state-of-the-art comprehensive health and wellness center to provide physical, mental and emotional care services to its university community as well.