Are Colleges Not What They Once Were?

 On December 15, 2021,  in the middle of finals week, a student at Northeastern University was found dead in the library, suspected to have committed suicide. The university responded by sending out an email to all the students telling them that counseling services were available. And then finals week resumed. This is a clear-cut example of the COVID-19 pandemic’s dire and disproportionate effects on the mental health of youth, and the inadequate organized response. In 2020, 40% of students reported experiencing depression and 34% reported anxiety, and to make things worse, 60% of undergrads said that they did not have access to adequate mental health resources. Northeastern isn’t completely ignoring the issue of mental health: they created “mental health days” to give students time to relax. Even so, professors still assigned work on or around those days, completely defeating their purpose. A Tufts University Junior was completely unable to access the college’s mental health resources, despite having had multiple panic attacks. Most students end up having to rely on private therapists, the use of which is both expensive and complicated. The efforts which universities do make, such as Northeastern’s “mental health days,” are usually inadequate, short-term, and fail to account for the intricacies of the student body.

The Rising Problems Of Mental Health on College Campuses | by justin doria  | Medium

The word “youth” makes one envision children of the age no later than their early teens, but without a doubt college students closer to 20 years of age fall into this definition. Even if they didn’t, the fact remains that they are just as heavily impacted by the mental health crisis that the nation’s youth are experiencing. In fact, this is simply speculation from someone who has yet to reach such a time of their life, but it might be the worst for young adults of that age, because they are independent enough to grapple with the entirety of the pandemic’s effects, but have not yet learned to navigate the world fully. The nation’s shortage of mental health experts is no less severe at universities, where they are arguably needed the most. The sad truth is that many major colleges have so far been remiss in their duties to ensure the health of students, both physically and mentally. If they do not have the resources to address mental health, they should at least cooperate with the many student-run organizations that have sprung up in the wake of the pandemic. Universities should at least expend more effort to address the crisis from which their students are silently suffering.


I'm a high school student dedicated to stimulating conversation around mental health.

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