A new survey organized by the virtual health service provider TimelyMD has concluded that mental health ranks as students’ top stressor, the second consecutive survey to do so.
The survey was completed by 1,200 students from various backgrounds.
This is the second consecutive survey to cite mental health as college students’ biggest concern, this survey being marginally higher (50%) than the last survey (49%), which was conducted in August 2022. The two previous reports focused on COVID-19, but as the stress surrounding the pandemic has subsided, student mental health has emerged as the top concern.
Following mental health was personal finance at 39%, academics at 37%, and mass shootings and inflation/rising prices each at 35%.
Regardless of what students deemed to be the top stressors, the survey found that 71% of students are experiencing some form of mental illness such as stress, anxiety, and/or depression. On the bright side, 70% of students believed that their school was providing adequate mental health services, half of whom use teletherapy services such as TimelyMD, and a promising majority of students reported that virtual services helped improve their condition (75%).
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Specific demographics of students who were experiencing mental health issues at a substantially high level are transgender (93%), non-binary (91%), and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Natives (83%). Marginalized communities such as these were the most likely to seek professional help, such as transgender students (79%), American Indian students (70%), and LGBTQIA+ (61%).
Still, a majority of students are skeptical about seeking professional help (53%) even though a majority of parents who were aware of their child’s mental health issues were supportive of them seeking help (84%). Hispanic/Latinx and Middle Eastern students are the least likely to seek professional help (44%).
“There are any number of reasons why students may be hesitant to seek professional support,” said TimelyMD Chief Care Officer Bob Booth in a Business Wire press release. “Some may feel overwhelmed about where to start; others may not feel their mental health issues warrant a professional’s help.”
While the majority of students are still timid about seeking professional help, 63% reported turning to their peers for guidance.