A Healthy Mind Supports A Happy Life

In the past decade, we have seen a rise in the importance of mental health awareness. Millennials and Generation Z individuals born between the mid 1990’s to the late 2000’s seem to have pioneered this social change through their open honesty about how they are feeling emotionally.

According to the American Psychological Association, 37% of Generation Z and 35% of millenials are more likely to admit that they have received counseling services in comparison to Generation X and the baby boomers. This presents a vast step forward in regarding mental health as vital to well-being.

Illustration by Gabriel Gatica. A good mental health is important.

Despite this, there are many improvements to be made in regard to mental health, especially on college campuses. As a student myself, it is interesting to see how many people are stressed about the workload that they must juggle: school, a job, family responsibilities, and more.
With a surge in memes about therapy, school stress and negative mental health conditions, it is apparent that college students are trying their best to keep up with everything despite not being in the best state of mind.

Given this, one would expect that universities are working hard to address the concerns of their students. However, this is far from reality. In a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, 19% of directors state that the “availability of psychiatric services on their campus is inadequate.”

When you combine this with 50% of students rating their state of mind as “below average or poor,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it is clear that something is wrong.

The struggle of students to maintain their grades and mental state at the same time, is so normalized in our culture that few students actually try to do something about their situations. There exists a mentality among some university students that we are supposed to struggle and feel like we want to die constantly. At the same time, there is the idea that college is a time to enjoy yourself and make amazing memories with your friends. How on Earth are we supposed to do this when we do not even know how to handle our endless responsibilities? Welcome to college—woe is us.