Mental health counseling for college students: Empower Counseling can help.

This headline says it all, “60% of college kids are living with mental health issues. Most schools are unprepared, and it could hold dire consequences for students’ futures”. This is an article published on Fortune by MEGAN LEONHARDT.

Most colleges and universities offer some type of counseling on campus. But the schools are not equipped to handle the mental health crisis facing our college students today. They do not have enough counselors, nor can they offer any one student the number of sessions it can take to see real progress.

College students are experiencing much higher rates of mental illness than other age groups. Forty-three percent of college students have been diagnosed with anxiety and 33% have been diagnosed with depression. To be diagnosed each of these students had to visit a mental health or medical professional. How many more students are suffering undiagnosed and untreated? I would guess there are many more who do not seek help for a variety of reasons. Maybe the culture in which they grew up teaches that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Maybe they do not have the resources or insurance to pay for treatment. Maybe they feel like a burden and do not want to trouble anyone with their problems. There are probably many different reasons, too many to list here.

Why are we seeing this crisis among college students?

The above mentioned article offers several reasons, which I can confirm as accurate based on the many college clients that have come to therapy at Empower Counseling over the last several years.

It is no coincidence that the decline in mental health has tracked the rise in smart phones. This generation of students endure so much more pressure than those of us who grew up without smart phones. Smart phones are no to blame for every mental health issue but they are great contributors to the rise in perfectionism, which can destroy mental health.

Not only do students have to have better grades and more extracurricular activities to get into college than we did, they have everyone else’s accomplishments shoved in there faces via social media 24/7. When all you see is everyone else’s highlight reel, it is so easy for a student to believe she is not good enough. This leads to self-criticism and low self esteem- and poor mental health.

Because high school students strive so hard to get into college, they often arrived burnt out. When you have to constantly go from 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00 at night for months at a time just to keep up with classes, studying, sports, and other activities, burnt out will occur.

When a student gets to that level of being burnt out, there is no motivation. Your body and mind basically shut down and stop working the way it used to for self-preservation.

Mental Health Crisis Among College Students: Mental health counseling for college students

If a student arrives on campus for freshman year already experiencing burn out, he or she is in trouble. The student will not have the motivation or the energy to do all that is necessary to integrate into college….meeting new people, going to class, eating enough food, etc.

College students often think their problems are not significant enough to warrant help until they desperately need it. Then they might have to wait a month or more to receive any counseling.

A word to Parents:

If you notice your high school student burning the candle at both ends, never slowing down to rest. If you see your student isolating and not doing the things she used to enjoy. If you notice anything significantly different about your teen’s behavior, reach out for counseling. You do not want your student going off to college if she is already experiencing mental health issues in high school.

If you have a college student who at all seems to be struggling, reach out to Empower Counseling. We specialize in working with college students, through online counseling and in-person. As long as your child lives in Alabama, we are licensed to help. At Empower Counseling, our team of counselors use Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help teens and college students get back to enjoying life.

At Empower Counseling we offer Acceptance Commitment Therapy anxiety counseling and depression counseling for teens, college students, young adults, and professionals. We have worked with students attending Birmingham-Southern College, Samford University, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama, as well as, students home for the summer who attend out of state schools. We are here to help. Reach out to Empower Counseling and schedule an appointment with Kathryn, Adam, or Kristine. We offer appointments that fit your student’s schedule including some evenings and Saturdays. Call 205-730-6570

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