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Student Stress at College: Behavioral and Emotional Issues Jon Brunner, Ph.D. Director, Counseling and Health Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Stress at College: Behavioral and Emotional Issues Jon Brunner, Ph.D. Director, Counseling and Health Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Stress at College: Behavioral and Emotional Issues Jon Brunner, Ph.D. Director, Counseling and Health Services

2 FGCU Health and Wellness Services Health Clinic Counseling Center (CAPS) Adaptive Services for Students with Disabilities Prevention Services (health education) Testing Center

3 AP-mtvu Poll April and May US Colleges, 2240 undergraduates, age % of students felt stress in their daily lives 42% felt down and hopeless several days in the past two weeks 13% showed symptoms of being at risk for mild depression and 9% moderate/severe(10% of adult Americans experience depressive disorders yearly) Only a third of those at risk for moderate/severe depression received support or treatment

4 College Stress and Emotional Issues The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA- NCHA II) Fall Institutions=40,n=26,685 Data from original version since 2000

5 NCHA Survey % of students reported at least once feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do(94.7%) 80% felt very sad(78%) 50-62% reported feeling hopeless once during the year(61%) 40-45% reported being “so depressed that it was difficult to function”(41%) 13-15% reported they were diagnosed w/ depression w/ 40% taking anti-depressant medication(16.7%,41.5 %) Nearly 10% seriously considered suicide w/ over 1% attempting suicide(10%,.4%)

6 NCHA-II Survey 2008 Incidence in Last 12 months 87% of students reported at least once feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do 64% felt very sad 47% reported feeling hopeless once during the year 31% reported being “so depressed that it was difficult to function” 10% reported getting enough sleep to feel rested in the last 7 days 75% reported finding something traumatic or very difficult to handle (academics, intimate relations, finances) 20% of the students reported being treated by a professional (anxiety and depression)

7 NCHA-II Survey Contd Incidence in Last 12 months 82% felt exhausted (not from physical activity) 39% felt overwhelming anger 6% intentionally injured themselves 6% seriously considered suicide

8 The Top 10 Impediments to Academic Performance According to Students Stress- 32%(32.4%) Cold/Sore Throat- 26%(20.7%) Sleep Difficulties- 24%(27%) Concern for Family or Friend- 18%(21.2%) Depression/Anxiety- 16%(14.3%) Relationship Difficulty- 15.5%(17.6%) Internet/ Games- 15% ** (12%) Sinus Infection- 8.5%(8.5%) Death of Friend/Family- 8.5%(11%) Alcohol Use- 7%(4.5%) ADHD 6%

9 The Top 10 Impediments to Academic Performance According to Students 2008 Stress- 27% Sleep Difficulties- 19% Anxiety-18% Cold/Flu/Sore Throat- 15% Work-13% Concern for Family or Friend-11% Depression-11% Internet/ Games- 11% Relationship difficulties-11% Participation in extracurricular activities- 10%

10 2008 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors(n=284) Robert Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh 95% of Center Directors report that the trend toward a greater number of students with severe psychological problems continues to be true on their campuses Directors report 49% of their center’s clients have severe psychological problems, 7.5% so impaired they cannot remain, 41.5% with severe problems that can be treated With a ratio of 1:1906, 64% report staff burnout and shortages during peak times, 62% decreased focus on students with developmental issues, 34% reported ending cases prematurely 26 % of student clients take psychiatric medication 93% believe there is an increase in students coming to campus already on psychiatric medications

11 2008 Center Directors Survey Continued Directors reported 118 student suicides with only 13.6 % being current or former clients DIRECTORS CONCERNS Highest reported concern was “issues related to handling students with more serious problems” (67.3%) 66.5% concerned about finding referrals for students needing long term help 59.5% reported concern about growing demand for services without an increase in resources 53.2% reported a growing concern of self injury reports

12 CORE Survey Developed by the Department of Education Published by the CORE Institute University Southern Illinois Measures alcohol and drug usage attitudes, related events and perceptions of students Completed online

13 CORE Survey Forms CORE Alcohol and Drug Survey-Long Form (Core Survey) Survey of Students’ Perceptions of Campus Alcohol and other Drug Norms (Norms Survey)

14 2004 Both Surveys Special Question n=640 “ I feel comfortable in situations where alcohol is consumed.” Always – 20.9% Often- 37.4% Sometimes- 24.8% Rarely- 11.3% Never- 5.8 %

15 Norm Survey: Attitude Toward Alcohol Response Options: a. Drinking is never a good thing to do b. Drinking is all right but a person should not get drunk c. Occasionally getting drunk is OK as long as it does not interfere with academics or other responsibilities d. Occasionally getting drunk is OK even if it does interfere with academics or responsibilities e. Frequently getting drunk is OK if that’s what the individual wants to do.

16 Norm Survey: Attitude Toward Alcohol Response Options: a. Drinking is never a good thing to do (.3%) b. Drinking is all right but a person should not get drunk (5.0%) c. Occasionally getting drunk is OK as long as it does not interfere with academics or other responsibilities (52.1% - median) d. Occasionally getting drunk is OK even if it does interfere with academics or responsibilities (20.5%) e. Frequently getting drunk is OK if that’s what the individual wants to do (22.1%)

17 Norm Survey: Alcohol Use General Student Perceived Norm Binge Drinking 54% Average Drinks 5.8 Consumed Abstinence from 17.8% alcohol Actual Norm 38% %

18 Student Perceptions of Alcohol Use 77.2% Breaks the Ice 75.6 enhances social activity 74.4% gives people something to do 68.7% gives people something to talk about 62.3% allows people to have more fun 61.8% facilitates a connection with peers 59.1% facilitates male bonding 53.9% facilitates sexual opportunities 48.4 %facilitates female bonding 27.7% makes women sexier 17.8% makes men sexier 17.5% makes me sexier

19 Reference Group Consumed alcohol in past year 85%81%83%84% Consumed alcohol in past 30 days 72%69%64%72% Under age consumed in past 30 days 68%65%54%68% Binge drinking in previous 2 weeks 36%38%37%47% Average # drinks a week Driven Under the influence 31% 18%27%26% FGCU CORE Survey Comparison

20 2008 CORE Survey Illegal Drug Use (2004 Comparisons) Marijuana 28.7 % used in past year (30.6%) 14.8% used this past 30 days (17.5 %) 11.4% used illegal drug other than marijuana in past year (16.0%) 4.2% used illegal drug other than marijuana in past 30 days (5.3%)

21 Suicide Facts in the General Population In America 30,000 Die from Suicide Every Day 80 Americans Take Their Own Lives Every Day 1,500 Americans Attempt Suicide 11 th Leading Cause of Death 3 rd Leading Cause of Death Among 15 – 24 Year Age Group

22 College Student Suicide Facts Suicide is the 2 nd Leading Cause of Death for College Students According to JED Foundation and NMHA over 1,000 College Students Die Each Year from Suicide Rate of Suicide is 7.5/100,000 Students

23 Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Located: Second Floor Howard Hall Hours 8:00 – 6:00 Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 - 5:00 Friday Phone: Provides 24 hour Emergency Services

24 CAPS Services Personal Counseling & Therapy Career Counseling Psychiatric Services Consultation Referral Case Management Emergency On-call (24/7 availability) Outreach Programs Assessment Services Website (mental health screening and other electronic resources)http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/Counseling/

25 CAPS Counseling Totals Counseling Session Totals Percent Change % % % % %

26 Academic Year: Reasons students came to CAPS for Services Anxiety63% Stress54% Depression 52% Self Esteem34% Relationship34% Family Concerns25% Dating/Marriage21% Academic15%

27 Student Survey of CAPS Counseling Services 98% agreed they were comfortable using CAPS services, would use them again and would refer others to CAPS 95% agreed that their counselor honestly cared about them 89% agreed they were better able to understand themselves 88% agreed they were able to better deal with their concerns/problems

28 Student Survey of CAPS Counseling Services cont’d 82% agreed counseling had a positive effect on their overall campus experience 63% agreed that counseling made them better able to focus on academic and study requirements 57% agreed that counseling made it possible for them to continue as a student at FGCU

29 Remember the Developmental Issues For Parents: 1. Competence-trusting your student 2. Redefining yourself-role change from caretaker to mentor 3. Separation-mange your anxiety 4. Intimacy-staying close without being over involved For Students: 1. Achieving confidence and identity 2. Separation and independence 3. Managing emotions and achieving intimacy

30 Do’s and Don’ts DO: Stay in touch, encourage, be realistic, allow space DON’T: Panic, tell them what to do, take over and assume responsibility, insist on frequent visits or phone calls, press your child on what they will do after school

31 Parent Tips (develop the supportive partnership) If your student has had psychological issues that required counseling/therapy and/or psychiatric medication, refer them to CAPS from the start Find out if going to college is fulfilling their goals. Are they happy?(monitor don’t over react) Ask about what they are discovering in terms of a career (it is OK to change) Ask about how their relationships are going. Ask them how they are eating and sleeping (seriously!). Ask about the pressure and stress they are feeling. Try to help them see through it and be supportive

32 Parent Tips cont’d Suggest they go to the CAPS website and take whatever screening they think is relevant to how they feel. Normalize the idea of seeking help let them know it is not a sign of weakness Suggest they go see a counselor or therapist in CAPS. They can come just once to consult with a CAPS professional to see what we think or might suggest. Tell them you understand college students drink, but that you would hope that it does not interfere in their academic or social life or put them or their friends at risk (explain what you mean)

33 When should I be concerned about my student’s mental health? Social Withdrawal Marked change in appearance, self care, hygiene Excessive self criticism Tearful calls outnumber the others Talk of hopelessness Loss of motivation Excessive fatigue or lethargic mood Extreme increases in energy, rapid speech and thoughts Inability to think and concentrate, dramatic change in grades References to self harm or suicide


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