Poor mental health affects us all in different ways, with some people isolating themselves from their loved ones and others reaching out for help. Many students also struggle with mental health, primarily due to the stresses associated with their workload, being away from home for the first time, and trying to develop new social circles in new environments.
To the students’ families and education providers, it may not be clear that they’re struggling, but there can be signs to look out for. When you’re aware of what mental health struggles in students can look like, you might be in a stronger position to help.
They’re not engaged
Students might have been proactive in studying to get into their chosen educational program, such as by using resources like Premed Experts, but their proactivity and general eagerness to succeed might change once they begin their studies.
Some students experiencing poor mental health might seem less interested in their coursework and are less likely to engage in discussions in lectures. If they’re struggling with depression and anxiety, they might also fail to attend some classes and seminars and shy away from social engagements that help them develop strong social connections.
Such changes might not be noticeable in large lecture halls, but some professors and teachers might notice if a previously engaged student is no longer as proactive in their studies.
They’re failing to achieve
Students fail to achieve for a number of reasons, such as poor preparation and disinterest in their coursework. However, some students can become so overwhelmed by the pressures of assignments and exams that they face mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, and stress that affect their achievements.
If students excel in their coursework and their achievements change dramatically over the year, lecturers and professors might identify that those students are struggling with their mental health or have other issues that require intervention to help them get back on track.
They can’t concentrate
Students who can’t concentrate in a lecture or seminar can stand out. Rather than actively engaging in discussions or showing signs of understanding what is being taught, they can seem less focused and take longer to understand concepts.
Sometimes, a lack of concentration can point to students having life challenges that distract them or mental health issues that make previously straightforward tasks much harder.
Many students attend college to obtain a degree and enjoy an authentic college experience with their peers. They join new social circles, make new friends, and develop strong support networks that have the potential to last a lifetime.
However, that’s not true for all students, especially those experiencing problems with their mental health. It can sometimes be noticeable that a student is struggling with their stress levels, depression, or anxiety if they are suddenly less interested in attending social functions. They might also fail to maintain friendships and withdraw from those closest to them, preferring to spend time alone.
While we all need time to ourselves occasionally, a sudden chance on sociability can be cause for concern, and support networks might need to step in to offer those students some assistance.
They’ve lost interest in succeeding
Most students who enter a programme at their chosen college want to succeed and will do everything possible to progress through the course. If they’re struggling with any particular coursework component, they will also seek help from their tutors, lecturers, or peers.
However, many students in the throes of depression might not have the same motivation to succeed. If they’re struggling with their coursework, they might instead resign themselves to the fact that they’ll receive a poor grade and put their entire degree at risk. Poor outcomes are common among students who are not taking care of their mental health.
They’re not enthusiastic
Attending college can be exciting, especially when you learn about subjects you’re passionate about while immersing yourself in a new environment and making new friends. The average student can be excited about each day and what it will bring, but that’s not the case for all students.
Some can struggle to muster up the necessary enthusiasm to make the college experience a positive one. They may also lack energy, and it can take everything in their power to get out of bed and attend lectures when they would prefer to stay home alone.
Mental health can affect students in many ways, and a change in mental status isn’t always immediately noticeable. However, students might require help if their families, friends, and professors notice some of the signs above.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.