Being a college student often comes with a set of struggles, like homesickness, poor time-management skills, and impostor syndrome. Add a global pandemic to the mix, which has disrupted students’ education, wiped out their finances, and upended their social-support systems, and the stage is set for them to experience a wide range of psychological repercussions.
New research from the Healthy Minds Network and the American College Health Association shows that depression is one of those repercussions, with the rate of depression among students rising since the start of the pandemic. The survey of more than 18,000 college students on 14 campuses, conducted between late March and May, also provides a look at some of the factors contributing to the coronavirus-related stress college students are dealing with.
One of the lead researchers of the annual national Healthy Minds study said the survey’s findings can be of use to colleges as they prepare to welcome students back to campus — in one form or another — this fall.
“There is a strong economic case for investing in programs and services to support student mental health,” Sarah Ketchen Lipson, an assistant professor of health law, policy, and management at Boston University, said in a news release about the survey. “Our prior research has shown that mental-health problems such as depression are associated with a twofold increase in the likelihood of dropping out of college.”
The survey showed that administrators and professors received high marks for the support they provided during the pandemic. College administrators were deemed supportive or very supportive by 69 percent of students, with 78 percent saying the same about their professors.
The effects of Covid-19 are likely to make an impact on the mental health of many students for some time. Here’s a look at students’ concerns and stressors.