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Mental Health Discrimination in College
Did you know?
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 57.7 Million people suffer from a diagnosable mental illness and that 41% of those people don't get the help they need. This is an alarming statistic and it needs to stop.
Most common illnesses among College students
The most common Mental illnesses among college students are:
-Depression -Eating Disorders -Anxiety Disorders -ADD/ADHD
-Panic Disorder -Self-Harm -Suicide (to name a few)
Example and Explanation of Depression in College
I'm going to provide an example using the article below and explain why that was an issue and how it could have been handled differently.
This article talks about a Princeton student being kicked out for missing classes. However the reason he was missing classes was he was to depressed to get out of bed in the morning. This is an effect of Depression. When an individual has depression they lack energy or motivation to do activities they once enjoyed and daily activities such as going to class or work. While missing class generally isn't a good idea when someone is depressed in college the answer is not to kick them out. The issue could have been rectified by simply working with the student and encourage them to seek treatment instead of kicking them out. Unfortunately that is the policy at most colleges and that needs to change. Kicking someone out for having a mental illness is discrimination. Kicking someone out for committing a crime? OK that i can see. But having a mental illness? No that's not okay.
Example and explanation of Eating Disorders in College
The article states that 5-20% of college students have an eating disorder. Whether it be bulimia in which a person will make themselves sick after eating usually by making themselves vomit or using laxatives, fasts, diet pills..etc. Or anorexia in which a person will starve themselves or restrict the amount of food they eat in a day. Sometimes a person will be both anorexic and bulimic. Another common type is Binge Eating disorder in which someone will consume excessive amounts of food in a short amount of time, this is usually followed by purging.
Someone cannot choose to have an eating disorder, it can happen because they are to depressed to eat, or use it as a negative coping mechanism for stress most likely brought on by school or other occurrences in life. However this is not always the case. Eating disorders are co-occurring usually in individuals with bi-polar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Students should again be encouraged to seek treatment for these issues. However this is an issue that is a little harder to catch.
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