Contributed by Elísabet Brynjarsdóttir, Aurora student president
With a growing focus on students‘ mental health on campus and how it can have a negative effect on their higher education, universities have been offering a growing variety of mental health services to provide support. A new study, Text Mining Mental Health Reports for Issues Impacting Today’s College Students: Qualitative Study was recently published in the journal JMIR Mental Health. The study finds that many students are not taking advantage of campus services regarding mental health problems. Researchers recommend universities to focus on helping students to develop coping skills before they experience a traumatizing event, instead of primarily focusing on the post-experience treatment as this could potentially influence how students seek support. The researchers studied 165 academic and news articles from 2010 to 2015 on college mental health. They found that common contributing factors to students‘ mental-health challenges were race, violence and sexual assault. The study also noted that most universities have been focusing more on „rapid-access“ services resulting in a void when students need follow-up care.
The researchers have offered a solution to this, involving a more proactive approach to mental health which could lead to a better higher education experience for students. They also suggested that universities rely on mobile apps to help distribute information and resources to students.