More U students reporting mental health concerns

The number of students coming to college with mental health concerns continues to increase, according to results from a recent health survey of students on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.

Slightly more than 42 percent of current students reported having a mental health diagnosis in their lifetimes, a 29 percent increase since 2015. The increase was particularly significant for female students, with almost half reporting a mental health condition in their lifetimes compared with 39 percent in 2015.

The data come from the 2018 College Student Health Survey of University of Minnesota Twin Cities students, directed by the U’s Boynton Health Service. 

Gary Christenson, ’86 M.D., Boynton's chief medical officer at the time, says the survey helps U leaders identify health issues affecting students and gives them valuable information to create a healthier campus environment. 

“As student mental health needs grow, we have to ask what resources will be needed to keep pace,” he says. “The scale of our campus puts us in a better position to provide students a range of resources. But all colleges and universities are struggling to keep up. Our survey should be a clear sign to policymakers, mental health professionals, and public health experts that we urgently need to identify public health approaches to promote good mental health.”  

Similar to past surveys, anxiety (32 percent) and depression (27 percent) are the most frequently cited mental health conditions among students at the U.

Published on April 3, 2019

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Read the full 2018 College Student Health Survey report at z.umn.edu/2018CSHS.