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Mental Health on the College Campus: Part Two

by CapCareAdmin on April 22, 2015

This blog is the second in a series covering mental illness on the college campus. As mentioned in the first iteration, the purpose of our guide is not to use as a substitute for treatment, but to help you find resources that lead to a healthier and happier college career. Below we will discuss suicide, eating disorders, and addiction.

Suicide

College can be a stressful transition from childhood to adulthood. When student don’t cope with negative feelings it can lead to suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

Statistics show that 10% of college students have thought about committing suicide or made a plan to commit suicide. There are over 1,000 suicidal deaths on college campuses across the United States every year. While it is common for many college students to experience feelings of doubt and frustration, sometimes those thoughts become dangerous, and students seriously consider ending their lives.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Active Minds: Active Minds is devoted to educating and changing the outlook of mental health on college campuses. With over 400 chapters on campuses across the United States, Active Minds works to promote the growing concerns of mental health and teach prevention techniques to faculty and students. Active Minds provides a therapist and counseling search tool for locating professionals in your area as well as a list of resources for students in a crisis.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call the toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), to connect those in need to compassionate individuals who are there to offer the emotional support that some cannot find anywhere else. They will also help friends and family of those at risk find solutions to help their loved ones. All calls are confidential.

The Trevor Project: This project began to provide LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning) individuals of any age a safe place to find support and talk. The Trevor Project offers several outlets for help and communication. The Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, is a toll-free, 24/7 suicide prevention service.

Eating Disorders

Millions of college students – both women and men – develop eating disorders through their college careers, and a large majority does not seek help or do not realize that they have an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are extreme behaviors, emotions and attitudes that revolve around food and weight issues. These disorders cause serious physical and mental problems that can result in life-threatening issues when left untreated. According to statistics provided by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD):

People ages 12-25 represent 95% of those with eating disorders

Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents

91% of college women attempt to control their weight through dieting

25% of college women binge and purge to manage their weight

Common eating disorders include:

Anorexia Nervosa – Characterized by an unhealthy fixation on thinness, distorted body image and fears of gaining weight, this disorder results in disturbed eating behaviors and emaciation.

Binge Eating Disorder BED is characterized by constant cravings that occur any time of day and that then result in binge eating. This is often associated with poor body image and low self-esteem.

Bulimia Nervosa – This is a binge eating disorder, involving recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food, followed by behavior that compensates for binging, like purging, fasting or over-

Eating Disorder Resources:

National Eating Disorder Association: NEDA is devoted to bettering the understanding of eating disorders in America. Its site provides a list of tools and links to seek help and a bounty of information concerning treatment referrals, support groups, and the newest research studies.

Academy for Eating Disorders: AED is a global network devoted to the education, research, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders. It is an excellent resource for learning about the differences between different eating disorders and treatment options, identifying symptoms and signs, and locating professionals in your area.

Eating Disorder Hope: This organization offers information on awareness, education, recovery tools, and access to treatment and support. The organization also has a blog with specific information and news aimed at college students suffering from eating disorders.

Addiction

It has become ordinary throughout many college campuses in the United States for students to engage in partying, alcohol use, and drug use. Unfortunately, some students begin as social users and end up with an addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that:

About 80% of college students drink

About 50% of those are binge drinkers

1,825 students, ages 18 to 24, die from alcohol-related injuries annually

Students are more likely to be assaulted, sexually abused or injured by someone who’s been drinking

About 25% of students who drink regularly report academic problems

Addiction Resources:

National Institute for Drug Abuse: The NIDA consists of a database that offers reports on recent prevention and research programs for drug and alcohol addiction. NIDA provides findings on the latest research projects, direction for those seeking treatment, and clinical trial offers.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration: This is an agency within the Department of Health. It’s purpose lies in promoting behavioral health in the United States. The site provides wide-ranging information on substance abuse as well as a treatment locator by zip code and a national hotline available 24/7, 365 days a year for those suffering from substance abuse.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: This organization’s purpose is to provide support for all individuals suffering from substance abuse. The site offers information for every stage of addiction, from acceptance to recovery. Additionally, it also provides a directory of service and programs located in your area.

Capitol Care’s many behavioral and mental health programs can treat all mental health illnesses described above. To learn more, or if you or a loved one are seeking help for any mental health illness, contact Capitol Care at their New Jersey department of mental health or at their Alabama department of mental health. Do not face this difficult problem on your own. Take charge of your college career.

 

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