World Mental Health Day

  (image from flickr user marsmet481) 

Today is World Mental Health Day. For some, that may seem an odd thing to put on a website about college parents, students, and college success. However, given the prevalence of mental health problems affecting college students and their academic outcomes, it’s important to be mindful of the number of students affected by mental health issues.

The following are mental health statistics from the 2012 Fall ACHA-NCHA II, which surveyed the health and lifestyle of thousands of college students nationwide. It details that roughly one in five college students has been diagnosed or treated for a mental health condition within the past 12 months.

Another important statistic about college mental health comes from the organization Half of Us:

  • Half of college students report being “so depressed they couldn’t function at some point during the last school year.”

Students’ physical and mental health often affects their academics. Using the data from the 2012 Fall ACHA-NCHA II, we can see that anxiety, depression and other mental health problems can be detrimental and disruptive to college life and studies.

Mental health, important for its own sake, is also important for college success. Today, World Mental Health Day, is a good day to reflect on that.

The JED Foundation and Half of Us put together a list of ways to engage with this important day. Those ideas are as follows:

  • Tune in tonight to MTV at 7 PM EST for “Life Continued: Defeating Depression.”This documentary goes inside the lives of two young people from different parts of the country who fought their way through severe mental health struggles but found hope and a path to recovery by taking steps to feel better and drawing strength from those around them. We have teamed up with MTV and SoulPancake on this project to provide resources and messages of hope and support through our Half of Us and Love is Louder campaigns. Learn more about the program here.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter with #lifecontinued and share your message of support. Love is Louder will be live tweeting throughout the program.
  • Visit the updated Half of Us, our emotional health resource with MTV. Check out the redesigned website which allows users to explore mental health conditions, dive into information and resources based on how they are feeling (angry, alone, weird) or what they are going through (a break-up, trauma, financial troubles).  The new site also provides a better viewing experience for our videos — a core part of the Half of Us experience.  College students can still find information on getting help on their campus via