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Being a student is no cakewalk. From enduring societal pressure and a hostile environment to constantly struggling with workload and academic achievements, students have a lot to deal with. Sadly, all this tremendously impacts the mental well-being of the students, making them fall prey to mental health issues. Poor mental health among students and the inability to deal with it have a hazardous impact on many aspects of their lives, including their relationships with friends and family, academic performance, physical health, and school and college experience. Moreover, mental illness also affects students’ learning and hinders their progress. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at how mental health issues affect students:

Poor Mental Health Among Students

For many years, mental health has been a hotly debated subject. However, unfortunately, the widespread relevance of mental health issues has not been given due concern in Indian society. Thus, we have been drastically underestimating the impact of mental health problems on students for a long time, which has further increased the suicide rate among children. According to a study, in most of the countries, youth attempt suicide every three seconds, and one death from suicide is reported every forty seconds. Sadly, many of these deaths are attributed to issues regarding mental well-being. If these figures alone are insufficient to alarm us to pay attention to the crisis involving student mental health, what is?

Though students nowadays are more vocal about their mental health, they still find their words being downplayed. Moreover, mental health issues are often stigmatized by many parents and students. To ensure that students receive the proper assistance when they need it, proper mental assessments must be done and documented before they are admitted to any educational institution.

Factors determining mental health in students

Individual characteristics always top the list among the factors that determine mental health. The factors may include the capacity of a student to control one’s thoughts, physiological changes, emotions, behaviours, interactions with others, and so on. 

Even now, students believe that having mental health issues is abnormal. And thus, they frequently conceal their concerns, neglect family members and friends, or deny having a problem when asked. Furthermore, many students claim they are stressed out and unable to unwind, leading to mental health problems later on. 

Seeking help regarding mental health issues is okay

Are you also wondering if your child is dealing with mental health issues? Do you also want to help your kid and show your support? If yes, your child shows numerous warning signs and symptoms while dealing with mental health problems. All you have to do is recognize them and find out what’s stressing your kid. Some factors that prevent students from seeking help might include the pressure from parents, friends, and family members, a lack of understanding, the stigma associated with mental illness, and lack of awareness.

However, student mental health difficulties are not limited to one type of medical care. Your child doesn’t need to take therapy and consume anti-anxiety drugs as many other solutions are available. For instance, at the micro level, we must establish a society that encourages students to discuss the issue and, if necessary, seek professional assistance. However, the urgent requirement is to make it possible for students to access the counselling service at their institution.

Some common mental health problems among students

Throughout their formative years of education, students go through many transitional phases. However these days, they face different pressures than they did in the past. For example, they lack access to services that can help them find balance in their lives and are emotionally unprepared for the difficulties they experience. Thus, the transformation creates difficulties and strains, making people distressed and prone to mental health issues. Some of these may include:

1. Stress

Everybody needs a certain amount of stress to get through the day. The term “eustress” refers to the stresses which benefit us. Beyond eustress, stress is frequently referred to as “distress.” A student may experience stress for several reasons like poor exam results, missing the deadline for an assignment, family issues, financial hardships, etc. Though it sounds simple, stress is the initial and most important component that leads to other mental health issues.

2. Anxiety

A student regularly deals with various stressors, some of which cause anxiety. Additionally, uncertainties and a cloudy view of the future have given rise to uneasy ideas, leading to even greater problems. However, it should be kept in mind that if anxiety is not treated, it can develop into anxiety disorders, which can profoundly affect a student’s social and personal life.

3. Depression

Depression is a medical condition that negatively affects your feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. For example, depression is when you feel constantly sad or lose interest in things that once interested you. Later, this could result in a range of emotional and physical issues. 

Losing interest, change in one’s appetite, having trouble sleeping, low on energy, engaging in more pointless physical activity, feeling unworthy, having difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, disoriented decision-making, and having suicidal thoughts are a few symptoms of depression. If you or your kid suffers from any of these conditions, feel free to seek help.

How to help students facing mental health issues?

To deal with the crisis regarding issues of mental health among students, all of us have to do our bit. With that said, parents, educators, and other adults can contribute to safeguarding children’s mental health. One must understand that every child reacts to stress, fear, and anxiety differently. They should educate themselves and become aware that mental health calls for the attention of trained mental health specialists. And if you think there’s even a slight possibility that your child may require psychiatric medicine, don’t hesitate to enrol them in therapy sessions.

There’s no denying the fact that psychotherapy and counselling can have a significant impact. However, one should avoid using therapies that are not supported by scientific research, including turning to so-called healers, since you can end up doing more harm than good.

Bottom line

Now that you are aware of students’ mental health issues, start taking note of any early warning indicators and minute alterations in a student’s behaviour. And if you’re willing to help, be an understanding listener and let the student communicate their feelings. Moreover, as a parent, try to spend time with your kids and let them know they have your support. Finally, extend your heartfelt support to the students facing mental health problems, and be a good friend to them. In case of queries or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us at editor@yuvaap.com.

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