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Survey: College Students Expect to Face Mental Health Issues this Fall

A recent poll of incoming and matriculating college students found that nearly half of respondents (44 percent) anticipate being impacted by mental health issues (either themselves and/or among roommates, classmates or professors) during the fall 2021 semester. The survey of 290 students was conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars, an international honors and scholarship program that pairs high-performing students with college scholarships, events, connections, internships and career opportunities.

Fifty-three percent of the students said that preparing for the fall semester was somewhat or much harder and more stressful this year compared to 2020, while 22 percent said their stress level was about the same. Just 7 percent said their fall prep was much easier and less stressful. On the positive side: The majority of students (82 percent) said they were familiar with the mental health resources available at their institutions.

"Although there is still a stigma associated with the topic of mental health for many, our youth have been able to rise above that negative perception and recognize the importance of tackling mental health concerns as openly and directly as we do any health issue. It's encouraging that while students are bracing themselves to deal with mental health issues, the vast majority know where to go for mental health support," said NSHSS President James Lewis, in a statement. "As the school year gets underway with continued uncertainty and unpredictability, we need to be sure those resources are easy to find, easy to use and easy to share with other students."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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