As more and more people discuss mental health issues in public forums, it seems to be lifting some of the stigma surrounding the topic. New research reveals that the number of students seeking help for mental health problems has risen considerably between 2009 and 2015.
Sara Oswalt, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the lead author of the new study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.
According to estimates that the scientists cite, around 26 percent of people aged 18 and above in the United States live with a mental health condition in any given year.
Moreover, it is believed that half of all serious adult psychiatric conditions — such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorder — start as early as the age of 14. Around three-quarters of serious mental health issues start by the age of 25.
How has the prevalence of mental health issues among young people evolved over time? Does the fact that mental health problems are discussed more openly lead to an increase in diagnosis?
New research aimed to shed some light on these questions by examining the data on almost half a million U.S. undergraduate students between the years 2009 and 2015.