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ERIC Number: EJ1016492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
A Suffering Generation: Six Factors Contributing to the Mental Health Crisis in North American Higher Education
Kruisselbrink Flatt, Alicia
College Quarterly, v16 n1 Win 2013
The number of students on university and college campuses that are struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis across North America is rising (Gallagher, 2008). This intensification of students' psychological needs has become a mental health crisis. The age at which many mental disorders manifest themselves is between 18 and 24, which coincides directly with the average age of student enrollment in higher education (Kessler et al., 2005). Adolescent suicide rates have tripled over the past 60 years, making suicide the second leading cause of death for that age group (Vastag, 2001). Studies conducted by the American College Health Association (2005) suggest that 12 to 18 percent of college students are being treated for a mental disorder. Canadian statistics mirror the tragic rate of mental disorders in American university students. Studies have also shown that there are more students seeking psychological care than in previous decades (Watkins, Hunt, & Eisenberg, 2011). The mental health crisis faced by North American institutions of higher education is relevant to institutional funding challenges, as the crisis is creating a growing need for financial and human resources to address this serious problem. Counselling centres in post-secondary educational institutions have difficulty meeting the growing needs of students as they are underfunded and understaffed. Resources are required to increase staffing, improve training, and increase physical space on campus for counselling centres (Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004). There is evidence to support the reality of the mental health crisis, and the serious challenge it poses for post-secondary educational institutions. What are the factors behind this crisis? This paper identifies six factors that recent research has implicated as contributing to the mental health crisis: academic pressure, financial burden, increased accessibility of higher education, increased female to male student ratio, increased use of technology, and dramatic change in the lifestyle of university and college students. All of these factors play an important role in the mental health crisis.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A