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A look into the mental health of Valdosta State

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

thumbnail_Infograph on mental healthWritten by Jordan Barela, Editor-in-Chief

The phrase “it’s all in your head” is something that is all too familiar. Because of this phrase, mental health is something that people rarely talk about.

A college campus is the ideal place where the topic of mental health is a tricky subject. College often comes with anxiety, stress and depression.

While it is a tricky subject to talk about, the statistics shed light on this often taboo subject.

According to a survey conducted by the American College Counseling Association, 42.4 percent of 75,000 undergraduate students surveyed reported feeling a greater than average amount of stress. 10.3 percent reported feeling a tremendous amount of stress. The survey also reported on depression as 35.3 percent reported feeling an extreme amount of depression, while 57.7 percent reported feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety.

The national statistics show an overall view of mental health on a college campus, but what about mental health at Valdosta State?

According to statistics taken by the Counseling Center, for the 2014-2015 academic year, 789 students were seen for counseling. Altogether, they attended 3,207 appointments, which included intakes, individual appointments and crisis appointments.

For the current academic year, the Counseling Center has seen a total of 780 students, with 3,041 appointments. According to Rebecca Smith, the Counseling Center’s assistant director, the center is on track to see more students for this academic year than the previous one.

Another alarming statistic provided by the Counseling Center is that 80 percent of students seen are between the ages of 18 and 25. The other 20 percent of students seen are 25 and older.

The Counseling Center has seen a 33 percent increase of students attending counseling since 2010.

According to information provided by Smith, prominent mental health issues that affect college students include anxiety, depression, past trauma and eating disorders.

Other issues that VSU students have been seeking counseling for include: LGBT issues, grief and loss, self-confidence, sexual assault, work and stress, among others.

Smith also provided a list of resources for students that have mental health issues. For the full list of resources, go to HERE.

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