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College Students: Mental Health

Risk Factors

Many college students face high risk factors for mental health problems and illnesses. A risk factor is something that can happen or does happen to a college student that increases the risk of a student developing a mental illness. Risk factors come in many forms, some starting when a student enters college, and some starting as early as preschool. These risk factors can make it harder for college students to reach out for help and gain self esteem and confidence back.


What Are The Mental Health Challenges Facing College Students? 

College students often face situations that can trigger mental health problems and many of these situations are unique to college students. Mental health challenges in college students present in many forms, but is most commonly displayed through anxiety, increased nervousness, mood disorders, body image issues, and eating disorders. Students face increased stress to fit in, be part of 'college life', have a friend group, and also get goods grades academically. These added stressors can weigh heavy on a college student, eventually leading to a downfall of mental health and self esteem.

What Are The Risk Factors That Affect College Students?

College students face numerous risk factors that can affect their mental health. Some of these include the following:


  • Growing up in abusive homes

  • Growing up without one or both parents around

  • Prolonged loneliness/struggling to make friends in middle/high school

  • Domestic abuse in childhood

  • Having a long term illness or physical disability

  • Having a learning disability

  • Increased social pressure and peer pressure from friend groups

  • Having an eating disorder or issues with body image and weight

  • Discrimination and mental health stigma

  • Prolonged poor academic performance

  • Social poverty or homelessness

  • Drug abuse and alcohol misuse

  • Increased social media use/forming an addiction to social media

  • Lifestyle factors such as dieting improperly and/or sleeping issues

Jealousy and continuous comparison to other students can often harm a young adults mental health. College students often compare themselves academically, and with how they look and act, with other college students and this can often cause jealousy, body image issues, eating disorders, issues with appearance, and even bullying. It's important to remember that we are all unique as individuals and all bring something special to the table. Learn more about body positivity and self image by clicking here. >

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