Campus Mental Health

Many college students suffer from mental illness

  • Young adults aged 18-24 have the highest prevalence of diagnosable forms of mental illness and represent 27% of the cases of mental illness across all age categories (2)
  • Half of all adults with depression report onset before age 20 (2)
  • 75% of people with schizophrenia develop the disease between the ages of 15-25 (2)
  • The following percentages of Rutgers students reported experiencing the conditions below in the Fall of 2006: 2.3% anorexia 12.1% anxiety disorder 2.7% bulimia 16.3% depression 5.4% seasonal affective disorder 2.9% substance abuse problem (1)
Mental health problems can affect academic performance
  • 46.4% of Rutgers students felt so depressed in 2006 that it was difficult to function (1)
  • 5% of college students prematurely end their education due to psychiatric disorders (3)
  • It is estimated that an additional 4.29 million people in the United States would have graduated from college if they had not been experiencing psychiatric disorders (3)
College mental health care systems are overburdened and cannot meet the needs of students
  • “There has been a marked increase in both the number of students with serious psychological problems on campus and the number of students seeking counseling services.” (3)
  • “University Counseling Centers are overwhelmed by the combination of high demand and constrained budgets, and many have had to cut their outreach programs to simply accommodate student visits.” (2)
If not treated successfully, mental illness can lead to death
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students (2)
  • 11.2% of Rutgers students seriously considered attempting suicide in the Fall of 2006 (1)
(1) Results based on survey of 2,925 Rutgers students, National College Health Assessment, Fall 2006, Administered by Department of Health Education (2) Active Minds on Campus (3) “The Mental Health Needs of Today’s College Students: Challenges and Recommendations,” by Martha Anne Kitzrow, NASPA Journal