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Survey: Mental Health Challenges Impact Coursework

stressed college student

A recent survey of college students across the United States found that mental health remains a struggle for many. Using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, ed tech company Quizlet polled 1,001 Americans between the ages of 18-25 about the state of their mental health and its effect on their learning. The vast majority of respondents — 95% — agreed that mental health has an impact on the quality of their coursework.

Among the challenges students have faced since the onset of the pandemic: anxiety (reported by 61% of respondents), feeling overwhelmed (55%), trouble concentrating and studying (51%), loneliness (49%) and depression (47%). Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that their current mental health has remained the same or gotten worse compared to the last school year. One of students' top sources of stress: final exams and end-of-semester grades (cited by nearly half of all respondents).

While many institutions offer mental health services for students, 49% of the survey respondents admitted that they have not utilized the mental or emotional health supports available to them. When students were asked what would be most helpful in managing their mental health during the school year, their top responses were free access to mental health screenings or therapy (cited by 27% of respondents) and greater academic support such as the option for virtual lectures or relaxed timing on assignment deadlines (27%).

Other outlets that students use to support their mental health include listening to music (cited by 67% of respondents), talking to friends and family (47%), exercising (41%) and gaming (41%).

"I'm seeing an increase in open conversations among my peers about mental health," said Kalyany Steele, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles who also serves as a Quizlet college ambassador. "Mental health is just as important as physical health. As a student athlete, I need to balance academics, sports, personal time, hobbies and a social life, which can feel like a lot to handle at once. To take care of my well-being, I use the mental health resources offered through my athletic department. It's nice to have people to talk to and people who will listen if you are ever going through a hard time."

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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