Striving to help college students with mental health issues

Department of Nursing, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, USA.
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services (Impact Factor: 0.72). 05/2007; 45(4):40-4.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mental health problems in the college population appear to be increasing in number and severity. University counseling services are limited in the number of counselors they can hire to meet the increasing demands. In addition, it is believed that many students do not actually seek much-needed counseling services due to lack of knowledge about mental health problems or services, stigma, or denial of the severity of the problem. Left unrecognized and untreated, mental health problems may lead to students dropping out or failing out of college, attempting or committing suicide, or engaging in other risky, dangerous behaviors that may result in serious injury, disability, or death. Mental health nursing faculty can help address this problem on college campuses by offering courses on mental health issues and skills, becoming involved with NAMI-on-Campus groups, and seeking grant opportunities that can be used to help develop and enhance services for the college community. Information about how to establish a NAMI-on-Campus group can be obtained by accessing or

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    • "Longitudinal studies of psychological distress in college students showed that, although distress levels peaked during the first year and then declined for most students, some of them manifested with severe distress levels which did not decrease over time [17,18]. If left ignored and untreated, mental health problems may lead to students dropping out of college, attempting or committing suicide, or engaging in other risky, dangerous behaviors [19]. However, it is estimated that only a minority of college students with mental health problems seek and receive adequate help [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The physical and mental health of college-age youths tends to continuously decline around the world. It is therefore important to promote health during this period. As a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise, Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) may be an available selection. However for the college student population, the evidence is unclear as to whether TCC can be recommended as an effective exercise for promoting their physical and psychological wellbeing. Therefore high quality, rigorous, prospective, and well-controlled randomized trials are needed to further understand TCC serving as a psychological and physical intervention in college age populations.Method/design: We designed a randomized, single-blind, parallel-controlled trial with a sample size of 206 participants. All the participants who meet the inclusion criteria come from Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (FJTCM). Participants of the TCC training group will receive TCC training at a frequency of five days per week for one hour per day for 12 weeks. No specific exercise will be administered on the participants in the control group. Both physical and mental health outcomes, including balance ability, lower limb proprioception, flexibility, physical fitness, self-efficacy, psychological symptoms, attention span, stress, self-esteem, mood and mindfulness, quality of life, and quality of sleep. Safety outcomes will be evaluated by blinded operators at baseline, 12 and 24-weeks post-intervention. This protocol presents an objective design of a randomized, single-blind trial that will test the effectiveness and safety of TCC on the physical and psychological wellbeing of college students. If the outcome is positive, the results will provide higher quality evidence of TCC on the physical and mental health of college age populations.Trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR-TRC-13003328.
    Trials 04/2014; 15(1):129. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-15-129 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "It is believed that whilst some students commence university with a preexisting mental illness, the stressors associated with university and this stage of life can lead to the manifestation of symptoms in this high risk age group [38,39]. Mental ill-health issues for the university student population can lead to negative outcomes such as: risky health behavior; poor academic performance and attrition; physical illness; antisocial behavior; and suicide [38]. Australian studies involving university students showed a similar pattern [40-43] as found by studies in the US and Europe. "
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    ABSTRACT: University students are often perceived to have a privileged position in society and considered immune to ill-health and disability. There is growing evidence that a sizeable proportion experience poor physical health, and that the prevalence of psychological disorders is higher in university students than their community peers. This study examined the physical and mental health issues for first year Australian rural university students and their perception of access to available health and support services. Cross-sectional study design using an online survey form based on the Adolescent Screening Questionnaire modeled on the internationally recognised HEADSS survey tool. The target audience was all first-year undergraduate students enrolled in an on-campus degree program. The response rate was 41% comprising 355 students (244 females, 111 males). Data was analysed using standard statistical techniques including descriptive and inferential statistics; and thematic analysis of the open-ended responses. The mean age of the respondents was 20.2 years (SD 4.8). The majority of the students lived in on-campus residential college style accommodation, and a third combined part-time paid work with full-time study. Most students reported being in good physical health. However, on average two health conditions were reported over the past six months, with the most common being fatigue (56%), frequent headaches (26%) and allergies (24%). Mental health problems included anxiety (25%), coping difficulties (19.7%) and diagnosed depression (8%). Most respondents reported adequate access to medical doctors and support services for themselves (82%) and friends (78%). However the qualitative comments highlighted concerns about stigma, privacy and anonymity in seeking counselling. The present study adds to the limited literature of physical and mental health issues as well as barriers to service utilization by rural university students. It provides useful baseline data for the development of customised support programs at rural campuses. Future research using a longitudinal research design and multi-site studies are recommended to facilitate a deeper understanding of health issues affecting rural university students.
    BMC Public Health 09/2013; 13(1):848. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-848 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "One issue raised in the literature addressing postsecondary students in general is the availability of mental health services and students' willingness to access them. Cook (2007) commented that most university counseling services are limited in the number of students they can help and do not have adequate supports to meet the needs of students, a finding that accompanies general increases in the severity and number of mental health problems among college/university students. Cook added that students who might benefit from mental health services tend not to seek out these resources. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Admission to a professional program marks the beginning of fulfilling a career goal. However, the rigors of professional education can be demanding. Stress, depression, and anxiety (SDA) can interfere with learning, affect academic performance, and impair clinical practice performance. Studies report a general increase in the severity of and extent of mental health problems among college/university students. The literature regarding nursing students' mental health distress identifies academic and personal sources of stress and coping efforts, with emphasis on the stress and anxiety associated with clinical practice. This cross-sectional descriptive exploratory study investigated levels of SDA among nursing students in 3 years of a university-based program. The association between quality of life indicators including known stressors, such as financial concerns and balance between school and personal life, and SDA was also investigated. Through an online survey, 437 participants from one mid-western Canadian undergraduate nursing program completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and provided data on quality of life indicators and demographic information. Participants also were invited to provide narrative data about their experiences with SDA. This article will present significant findings including: levels of SDA; comparisons between our sample and a normative sample on the dimensions of SDA; and the results of multiple regression analysis identifying significant predictors of each dimension. Themes from the qualitative comments from 251 of the participants were identified and added depth and clarity to the quantitative findings. The predominant themes represented were: perceptions of clinical practice, coping, personal issues, and balancing school, work, and personal life. Implications and recommendations for curriculum design, ensuring students understand program expectations prior to admission, and enhancing accessibility to mental health/support services need to be considered.
    International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 01/2013; 10(1). DOI:10.1515/ijnes-2012-0032
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