Depression and anxiety are representing two major challenges among the students in the USA. The American College Health Association claims that 40% of students are dealing with depression affecting their daily activities, and 60% of students agree they have extreme anxiety cases.
Penn State University states the number of students with mental disorders has raised up to 28%. There are many reasons for it, including financial burdens. With the constant increase in stress level because of peer pressure challenges and challenging curriculum demands, it is difficult to underestimate the scholarship’s role as a resource for certain students that encounter mental health issues while they are on campus.
7 mental health issues among college students
The psychological and emotional well-being of the ordinary student directly is related to readiness to handle new challenges and accommodation.
However, in some cases, unexpected problems might occur, such as a mental trauma that is related to physical harassment, loss of a parent, or injury. Therefore, students face a variety of such mental problems as:
- Self-injury and depression thoughts. It includes such constant mood changes in which there is a lack of interest, loss of hope, and sadness. It is also related to joint pains, sleep disturbances, and headaches. There are no constant symptoms in depression. Thus, mood changes are not a sign of depression. The excessive amount of stress or insecurity is often related to exams. Nevertheless, if there are suicidal thoughts, a student should go to the health center as fast as they can.
- Anxiety. With this mental issue, you may feel worried all the time, going through mental and physical tension that breaks down into panic attacks frequently. If it affects other activities and studying, contacting a healthcare specialist is a must. Usually, panic attacks include muscle pains, upset stomach, sweating, or headaches. There might be mental or physical reasons for having anxiety.
- Substance addiction. This is a very serious mental health problem among students. The alcohol addiction symptoms are visible mostly. However, drug abuse symptoms might not be so evident. If you suspect somebody in drug abuse, you should immediately contact the college counselor.
- Mood & eating disorders. The National Eating Disorder Association claims that 10-20% of girls suffer from this problem in college when boys make up to 10%. The disorders might occur because of such reasons as a distorted body image, negative peer pressure, irregular eating habits, and fear of being rejected. Such disorders are complicated problems and might lead to bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This illness is caused not only because of the emotional factor which might occur when the student is unable to cope with the student loan or exam. ADHD mental condition is also related to personal life events, genetics, food, change of environment, and medication. Hyperactivity and ADHD are not the same things. It deals with feeling depressed, lack of motivation, being unable to concentrate on necessary assignment without feeling lost or irritated.
- Bipolar affective disorder. This disorder is affecting more than 60 million people in the whole world. There are such symptoms as mood changes, irritation, irregular sleeping patterns, abnormal sense of self-esteem, hyperactivity, and depressive episodes. If a student feels hopeless, faces trouble sleeping, or suddenly becomes extremely sad, it might be a sign of a bipolar disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It might happen to all types of students, involving veterans, physically abuse people, people that have lost the sibling, or the ones with substance abuse problems. It might happen to people who served in a military and think it is complicated to accommodate when living because of fits of hopelessness and anger, and frequent battle scenes flashbacks.
Accommodations for mental health students
Not only because of a psychiatric diagnosis such as borderline disorder, depression, or bipolar affective disorder, people need special accommodation. There should also be functional limitations for students with interactive challenges and anxiety. There are three types of accommodations for people like these- examination, classroom, and assignment. Here are the examples:
- Separate exam rooms and preferential seating. Exams are very stressful, especially for people with mental problems. So, let them come and go for their convenience.
- Extended deadlines and extra breaks. It is difficult for such students to submit their works on time. You might give them additional time or let them fill their task at home.
- Digital recording of the lectures. Sometimes it is difficult to stay concentrated, especially for ADHD students. Let them record the materials to allow them to go back to it within some time.
- Online learning. It might be a perfect way to find a balance between the still attending college and managing illness. Students should not be online at a certain time for interacting with their classmates or lectures. Course materials are available round the clock, so they would be able to fulfill tasks during the best times.
- Creative approach to studying. Since some students are not comfy with the traditional studying approach, they will enjoy creative techniques such as role-playing games and visual presentations.
Where can I find mental health support?
Apart from the college assistance resources which you may find on the campus, this is important to be aware of several organizations and foundations that target to assist mental health people in the country. You might contact these three major services in case of danger:
- National Alliance of the Mentally Ill: 1-800-950-6264
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Check these helpful resources too:
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America. This organization features more than 20 years of history with mental health students. You might find all consulting services and possible resources there.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. You might find both offline and online support groups that will match your location.
- American College Health Association (ACHA). It gives useful resources, specific examination rules, scholarship news, the latest health tips for students with mental disorders.
- JED Foundation. If your college friend has mental problems or you face emotional health challenges, this foundation will give you extra data concerning helpful cooperation tips, required behavior, and contacts of students that have similar conditions.
- Anxiety Resource Center. It proposes explanatory guides, educational materials, and the latest pieces of news that are related to anxiety disorder.
Five tips for mental health problems students:
- Provide yourself with due credit. Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Value your achievements properly.
- It might take time to get healed. If you want to take some break or need the private space, you have a legal right to do it.
- Consider joining local backup groups that deal with anxiety and depression.
- Take part in charity campaigns and community work.
- Find your real passion, like doing sports, or playing the piano. Follow it as much as it is possible!
Scholarships for students with mental disorders
- Baer Reintegration Scholarship. It is given to students with schizoaffective state or bipolar disorder. If your course schedule is full-time or you are the part-time student for a graduate or undergraduate curriculum, such scholarship will cover the vast majority of the educational cost. You will just need to apply from October to January annually.
- Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship Award. The target of this award is to raise cyberbullying issue awareness. They give the $1,000 scholarship for the students who were bullied online.
- Buckfire&Buckfire Disability Scholarship Program. This award is given to students who have completed one semester, at least but have mental problems. It offers the Buckfire Law Company’s support.
- Frederick J. Krause AAHD Scholarships. It is given to students with multiple mental or physical disabilities. If you want to apply, you should write a proper personal statement letter, provide disability proof, and share two recommendation letters.
- The Jared Monroe Foundation Scholarship. They give $2,300 to full-time college people with bipolar disorder. To apply for this award, you should show a treatment program and medical proof to be eligible.
No way to be discriminated
We should take into account the fact that every person might encounter a mental disorder, at least once in a lifetime. Emotional well-being is a crucial part of our everyday lives. There are many resources, backup groups, and institutions both in the local communities and on campus to assist students with the mental problems in handling day-to-day living conditions. Therefore, many organizations suggest scholarships to make the lives of such people easier so that every student will have a suitable environment to learn and live, at least, in the USA.