Replace PSU first-year seminar with a mental health awareness and coping skills course

Replace PSU first-year seminar with a mental health awareness and coping skills course

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Post-Its For A Purpose started this petition to The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees

As we live in the midst of a global pandemic, there has been a major decline in mental health among college students. The United States has been facing a mental health epidemic for years, yet the stigma around mental health still remains. Something needs to change. 

McDonough of the American Council on Education wrote, “The American College Health Association (ACHA) recently reported that over 60 percent of college students said they had experienced ‘overwhelming anxiety’ in the prior year, and in the same timeframe, a little over one in 10 college students seriously considered suicide. This is an increase of over six percentage points in less than a decade.”

According to CDC data, suicide rates among American 15-to-24-year-old Americans have risen 51% over the past 10 years, attributed to rising levels of depression and anxiety among this age demographic.

The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP), now based at the University of California Los Angeles, has administered a survey of more than 15 million incoming freshmen at almost 1,900 colleges and universities every single year since 1966. Called The Freshman Survey (TFS), it the largest consistently-running study of higher education in the United States.”

Since its inception more than 50 years ago, questions on physical health behaviors like drinking, smoking and exercising habits have been included. In 1985, however, the survey began including new questions on students’ own perception of their mental and emotional health as well, including questions like ‘how often did you feel depressed or overwhelmed during your last year in high school?”

While certain unhealthy physical behaviors declined drastically, (8.8% of students smoked “frequently” in 1985, compared to just 1.4% in 2015, and the number of students who “frequently” or “occasionally” drank beer as incoming freshmen dropped from 66.5% to 30.3% over the same period, oddly, “almost two-thirds of students (63.9 percent) reported above average physical health in 1985 compared to just over half (55.2 percent) in 2015.”

The decline in emotional health was even more startling. “In 1985, 63.6 percent of all incoming students rated their emotional health as above average or in the top 10 percent compared to the average person their age. This figure decreased to 47.4 percent in 2017.”

We have an opportunity to make a difference. An opportunity to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. An opportunity to provide students with necessary and beneficial skills in all aspects of their life. It's time that we start the conversation. 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!