People laughed when reports came out that students were experiencing distress after the 2016 election, but, as it turns out, it was no laughing matter.
The research is showing that students are not more sensitive, but rather they are experiencing real trauma that needs to be addressed by the college community.
People like to call young people snowflakes, but trauma suppressed is trauma that isn’t addressed, and that helps no one.
With that said, here’s a caveat:
Even as more students seek mental health services, there often is still a gap between those receiving the services and those that need them. In particular, research has found that African-Americans are 20% more likely than other groups to experience severe mental health issues, yet only one-quarter seek mental health support. That’s compared to 40% of whites who do. A history of prejudice and discrimination in the health care system as well as socioeconomic factors that make treatment unaffordable for some are among the reasons for the discrepancy.
There’s also the cultural stigma against mental health treatment in communities of color, and it’s hurting so many people. I hope to read about how this has been successfully addressed a decade hence, but I’m not optimistic. At the very least, it’s being studied and discussed, which is better than the alternative.