The stress of college can heighten mental health problems for students. 

Dr. Kathy Ryan, the director at Otterbein’s Counseling Center, mentioned that there was a ten percent increase in students coming to the Counseling Center for the month of September. There has been a steady increase over the past four years. 

According to Statista, mental health clinics with patients in college during the 2017-2018 academic year shared the top issues patients have. Out of nearly 70,000 respondents, anxiety and depression were top concerns for college students, while relationship problems and stress come third and fourth.  

Reece Barnett, a senior history major, was asked if she thinks college causes mental health issues. “I think it depends on the situation you get into when you get to college,” she said. 

          

Dr. Meredith Meyer, from Otterbein’s psychology department, said, “There is no one age during which mental illness starts. All that being said, adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time for many people. Unfortunately, these disorders seem to be on the rise in the last twenty or so years.”  

When asked if college influences mental illness, Meyer said, “College should be stressful; stress helps motivate us. Disorders like depression and anxiety severely reduce our ability to handle new stressors. If daily tasks seem too difficult to approach, then it’s time to talk to a trained professional. Start with the Counseling Center.”