One in three freshmen ‘show symptoms of mental health disorder’
| Global study looks at prevalence of mental disorders among first year university level students
Headline Health – As we recently reported, one in ten U.S. school children is now coded as having the mental health disorder ADHD. Now we’re learning that by the time these kids get to college, one in three reports having ADHD or another type of mental health disorder.
Why are our education systems producing mentally ill students? More below from The Guardian …
“Major depression is the most common disorder”
Anthea Lacchia, The Guardian – One in three first-year university-level students report symptoms of a mental health disorder, according to a new international study.
The study investigated the prevalence of psychological disorders – including major depression, mania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, alcohol use disorder, and substance use disorder – among freshers in eight different industrialized countries.
The findings, part of a World Health Organization initiative, are based on a series of web-based health surveys given to students within a few months of starting university-level education.
35% of the nearly 14,000 students who completed the questionnaire reported having suffered from at least one of the disorders at some point during their life, while 31% reported having suffered from them over the 12-month period prior to taking the survey.
Major depression was the most common disorder, followed by anxiety, and the median age of onset for the disorders was just 14 years of age.
“The transition from high school or secondary school to college or university can be really challenging,” said Randy Auerbach, who studies depression and suicide at Columbia University and is the lead author on the paper, which questioned students in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain and the US.
“The rates of the disorders are alarmingly high,” he said, adding that the findings point to “an enormous public health problem”.
The true prevalence may be far higher that captured in the study, because the scientists focused only on the most common disorders.
“We found that these disorders are broadly distributed across the student population, which suggests to us mainly that we need to be doing more to better understand mental disorders on college campuses,” said Auerbach. Read more.