In August of 2010, the American Psychological Association said the number of college age students with a serious mental disorder is rising. This statement came as a result of a study of students who sought campus counseling services. It didn’t take into effect those students who did not seek aid. According to halfofus.com, a website where mentally ill students can share their stories, watch videos and find sources of mental health care, 50% of all college students have felt so depressed they could not cope. What makes one student seek help when another doesn’t? How can more students be encouraged to seek counseling?
A May 31, 2011 news release put forth by the American Psychiatric Association cites the results of a study led by Nicolas Rusch, MD at King’s College in London into what makes people willing to seek mental health care. The researchers concluded that “Knowledge of mental illness and treatments was the strongest predictor of both help-seeking and disclosure, a finding that underlines the role of mental health literacy in influencing reactions to developing a mental illness.”
A national organization named Active Minds is working to increase the number of students who reach out for this aid by educating students and fighting the stigma of mental illness on campuses across the nation. “It’s the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses. By developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy group on campuses, the organization works to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community”.
Active Minds has eighteen chapters in educational institutions throughout the state of Maryland. Baltimore colleges/universities with active chapters include: College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Stevenson University and Towson University. Students interested in joining one of these chapters or starting an Active Minds chapter at their current educational institution can visit Active Mind’s website.
Active Mind is a 501 (c) 3 organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.