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A study published this summer shows that the majority of college students fit the criteria for at least one mental illness which represents twice the rate from 2013.
The troubling findings were discovered by researchers at Boston University who found that over 60% of students met the criteria for mental illness between 2020 and 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic which is double the rate from eight years ago, New York Post reported.
Additionally, depression and anxiety are up 135% and 110% respectively since eight years ago.
The study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in June and it analyzed data collected from more than 350,000 college students across 373 campuses between 2013 and 2021.
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“Living in a new setting and away from home can often create overwhelming and stressful circumstances, and recently we’ve added the stress of the pandemic to the mix,” Sarah Lipson, the study’s lead author and a health policy professor at Boston University, told the Washington Post.
Lipson’s team also found that the rates of eating disorders increased by 96%, non-suicidal self-injury by almost 46%, and suicidal ideation by 64%.
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The study follows several other reports over the last few months documenting the significant negative effect coronavirus lockdowns had on mental health, especially on children and young adults.
The CDC found that 44% of teenagers felt hopeless or persistently sad in the first few months of 2021 and 55% said they experienced emotional abuse at home, according to a survey published on April 1.
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“These data echo a cry for help,” CDC acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, said in a press release of the CDC’s findings. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental well-being. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future.”