What better place to ask students about their experience with mental health issues in college than one of the places they love hanging out the most- a forum on the internet. Reddit is one of the most popular forum based resources on the internet where people come together in communities to share all kinds of information and experiences. Celebrities are even known to do a “reddit” session and make themselves available to the questions of their fans. Using a “data mining” program, researchers scanned through various forums and subforums of college students, mental health, and groups specific to particular colleges or universities. The findings revealed that mental health is not created equal in college, but that most college students are living with mental health struggles.
The first finding of the study was that students are talking about mental health more as the years continue to go by. Mental health today is becoming more of a mainstream topic than it ever has been before. As the nation grows more aware of the harmful effects of drugs like opioids, there is a focus being paid to mental health issues. Most addiction and alcoholism stems from an inability to cope with emotional issues. Mental health and the topic of addiction go hand in hand. More young people, college age and above, are using their voice to illustrate what it is like to live with mental health issues, emphasizing that mental health is real, it is normal, and it is okay to have. The focus on recovering from mental health and trying to take care of yourself when you are living with mental health issues is becoming more popular. The more that students talk about it, the more that they are able to relate to one another and spread awareness.
More findings of the study focused on the correlation between mental health struggles in students and their college settings. For example, at large public universities which had a large student body of undergraduates, the study found that their well-being index was lower. However, at universities where the tuition was high, was private, or had especially pronounced prestige, the well-being index was higher. The lead researcher hypothesized that these findings could be attributed to financial backgrounds, a pressure to succeed, or the inability to discuss their mental health struggles due to financial backgrounds and a pressure to succeed.
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