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64% of College Students with Mental Health Issues Drop Out

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM
64% of College Students wtih Mental Health Issues Drop Out

Mental health may be a larger factor in college student success than previously thought.
A majority of former students with mental illnesses dropped out for a mental-health related reason, according to a survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
There were 765 respondents in the survey, all from individuals diagnosed with a mental health condition who are currently or were enrolled in college within the past five years. Of the respondents who participated in the survey, 64 percent are no longer enrolled in college.

"For some, the stigma associated with mental illnesses keeps them from seeking the help on campus that may allow them to suitably deal with their issues and stay in college," said Christopher Scott, Associate Clinical Director of the UH Counseling and Psychological Services.

In the survey, students said receiving certain accommodations like lower course loads and help communicating their needs to professors may have helped them remain in school. They also said connecting with mental health providers earlier and having peer-run support groups available would have positive effects.

“Sometimes they may need to take a leave of absence, reduce their course load or switch to part time student status – but for some students these actions had negative consequences on their academic careers,” Markey said.

"Schools and students need to be more proactive about noticing signs of a mental health problem, like a sudden drop in grades, increased absences and social isolation," Markey said. "Schools can connect students to its services by promoting what it provides and by publicizing the importance of mental health to the entire campus."

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