Factors that impact college students’ mental health

Given the new digital age, students face many new ways for a decline in their mental health.

In medical research by Changwon Son, doctorate candidate and research assistant at Texas A&M University, it was found that 71% of college students faced an increase in stress and anxiety placed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 91% reported negative impacts such as having difficulty concentrating thus impacting their academic performance, along with disrupted sleeping patterns and worries over their loved ones health. 

There are several factors that can decline a student’s mental health whether it be loss, stress, anxiety, COVID-19 or even social media. 

As students progress in their college education, courses become demanding, assignments start to pile up and life outside of academics such as work, families and friends also pile up. 

Another factor impacting college mental health is social media. Platforms have begun to place an immense amount of pressure on their young adult users, pushing them into a negative headspace.

Social media users often come into contact with unattainable standards that can greatly impact their mental health for the worse, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic that has altered normalcy.

For students who are currently struggling, mental health apps are available to help with sleep, relaxation, anxiety and other mental health-related subjects. Applications such as Headspace for meditation and ACT coach for commitment therapy are available and are recommended by the counseling center, which can be found in the Mental Health Resources webpage:

To help students cope with their stress in relation to their academics or non-academics, the counseling center at UWT offers a variety of aid, individual or even group counseling, in a safe and confidential setting.

The counseling center at UWT offers a variety of mental health resources off-campus and online. The Psychological and Well-Being Services, provides confidential mental health counseling for UWT students at no extra cost. 

With UW COVID-19 protocols, PAWS is offering virtual services from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their physical office for students who seek privacy is located in the Mattress Factory in room MAT 354 with the same availability as their virtual services.

PAWS mission is to provide guided problem-focused mental health counseling and help students cope with their stress whether it’s due to academics or non-academics. 

At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, students who seek help beyond school hours can reach out to My Student Support Program, where they can receive confidential emotional health and well-being services through their app, online chat or by calling 866-743-7732.