Rates of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation among college students increased in the 2021-22 school year, according to recently released data.
The Healthy Minds Network, a research organization that focuses on adolescent and young adult mental health, has conducted a survey called the Healthy Minds Study for 15 years. The survey looks at the mental health of post-secondary students by collecting more than half a million responses from students at more than 450 colleges across the United States.
The latest release of the survey shows that 44 percent of students reported symptoms of depression, 37 percent reported anxiety disorders, and 15 percent reported that they seriously considered suicide in the past year. These rates are all the highest rates in the 15 years the survey has been conducted.
Lost&Found played a role in gathering data for the Healthy Minds Survey during the 2022-23 school year. Students at Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City were surveyed, which was the first time South Dakota students had participated. The release of that data will happen in the spring of 2024.
The survey shows the importance of services such as those that Lost&Found provides.
“We clearly see the need for mental health support, through resilience education for example, throughout the nation,” said Dr. Gesine Ziebarth, Lost&Found’s Research & Evaluation Manager.
The 2021-22 survey data did highlight some positive developments. More students than ever have accessed therapy to manage mental health concerns. The use of alcohol was also at the lowest point in the survey’s history, with more than half of students reporting they had not used alcohol in the two weeks prior to taking the survey.