Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues impact and affect students on a daily basis, raising concerns and prompting immediate action on college campuses.
Mental health issues are not always taken seriously or completely understood, but student-run mental health clubs want to fix that problem. The goal of these organizations is to shed light on the problem and inform others of the dangers of mental health issues such as depression. By improving awareness of the issue, students often find themselves more understanding of others that struggle with mental health problems and more likely to offer help when needed.
In a recent study of twelve California colleges, student-led groups on campus produced a better understanding of mental health issues as well as reduced stigma which resulted in a more compassionate view and an increase in helping behaviors.
The study was inspired by an online survey that took student opinions on mental health and asked about their familiarity with the movement Active Minds, a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about mental health. The survey asked about personal experiences and general attitudes toward mental health issues.
Results placed students in one of three categories based on their answers: low engagement, moderate engagement, or high engagement with Active Minds and mental health issues. Upon taking the survey the first time, 63% of students fell into the low-engagement group; however, after interacting with these mental health groups, students showed an improved understanding of mental health and the impact it has on their peers.
Organizations like Active Minds are making big differences on campus by creating more accepting atmospheres for struggling students.