LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR) — You hear it all the time, “College is the best years of your life” but for many students, mental health concerns are at the forefront of their college experience.
According to a survey by Gallup in 2022, 76% of college students who say they have considered dropping out of school say the reason they want to leave is due to emotional stress.
Experts say the stress of balancing relationships, school, and work, as well as being away from loved ones is causing many college students to struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
A resident counselor with the University of Lynchburg, Christina Cunningham, says most college campuses do offer valuable resources for students. Some resources include counseling, group sessions, doctors, and spiritual organizations to help them cope with mental health concerns. But even with these resources, she adds there are some changes she hopes to see implemented in the future.
“I would be hopeful if maybe we could offer some more services outside of normal business hours. So right now, of course, we’re like 9-5, Monday through Friday, which doesn’t always work for students. I mean there even maybe people that are doing more night classes, or they work jobs, maybe their schedule just doesn’t allow, and they need other things,” said Cunningham.
She adds that students are often intimidated or even scared to seek counseling but encourages students to take that step toward better mental health.
Cunningham emphasizes to any student—prioritize yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.