INTERNATIONAL: Massive Survey Finds One in Three College Freshmen Struggle with Mental Health—Here Are Four Things You Can Do

October 26, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A new study suggests many first-year college students have struggled with mental health issues. Researchers surveyed nearly 14,000 freshmen from eight countries and found that 35 percent had experienced a mental illness in their lifetime. The most commonly reported mental illness was depression, followed by anxiety. The authors recommended that colleges help address these findings by increasing access to counseling and other mental health services. Students can also take steps to care for their own mental health, according to Sherry Benton, vice president of the American Psychological Association’s Society of Counseling Psychology. To help cope with stress, she suggested college students maintain a healthy lifestyle through sleep, diet, and exercise. If students are struggling, they should reach out for help and not self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. “If the problem is more serious or has continued for several months, help from a therapist can be highly effective,” said Benton. “Most colleges and universities have a counseling service or offer a student assistance program that can help evaluate a student’s situation and get them to the help most likely to be effective.”

Spark Extra! Read the full study.