College students mental health problems are the focus of the mental health community and have been for over 7 years. While some may think this is a positive thing, others do not. In the Report to the Mental Health Issues Subcommittee, 2008, college students mental health is the topic and in the wake of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, the State University System of Florida addresses the subcommittee by, of course, asking State Universities to ask for more funding for their mental health programs.
What does that mean for college students mental health problems? It means that each institution in the State University System was advised to come up with policies and procedures for reporting any student who exhibits “at-risk behavior”. College students now, and for many decades, experience a new set of pressures that, at times, brings anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and more. This is not new and had been addressed, long ago, by the family physician that would perform medical tests to understand why the young man or woman was responding in such a way to stress. There is much medical research in regards to physical ailments and deficiencies and how these things adversely affect the way a person can or cannot handle stress. With the stress and ensuing mental health symptoms, a college student is placed in the position, in our current era, of having mental health counselors right on campus.
While you may feel it is appropriate to relay your symptoms to those counselors, be aware that most campuses are now under the recommendations that were given at this Subcommittee meeting. That does not mean that it is not appropriate to speak with a counselor, it simply means to be aware and that you may want to additionally and/or initially speak with your parents about your troubles. Under the 2008 report this is the recommendation that was issued and followed, “All institutions reported that they initially attempt to assist the student on campus. However, institutions reported that they will either refer a student for an outside evaluation or initiate hospitalization if the student presents an imminent threat to self or others.” This is referred to in the report, as using the Baker Act, the Florida involuntary commitment law.
This is a subject with many parts and at this juncture, let’s examine those parts simply and with factual information.
There have been a number of mass-shootings in public and on college campuses over the last decade.
- There is evidence that the majority of those individuals who committed those mass shootings were on mental health drugs at some point in their lives.
- The FDA clinical trials reveal that mental health drugs do carry adverse effects of mania, delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, violence, aggression, homicidal ideation and more.
- There are medical professionals throughout the state and the country who specialize in the field of mental health and utilize medical testing to evidence the potential physical cause for unwanted mental health symptoms. (I.e. nutritional deficiencies, allergies, hormone problems, thyroid problems, tumors and more)
College students are asked, throughout their education, to analyze and evaluate facts, theories and hypotheses. This is possibly one of the most important sets of data that a college student could evaluate. Our culture is ridden with direct-to-consumer advertising that encourages the use of mental health drugs. Pharma vested dollars are spent in the billions to ensure that names of drugs and promotional campaigns are in the face of every American. Media perpetuates fear and often false information in terms of this issue. They help to drive the one thought process that the individuals who perpetuated these horrendous mass-killings, were in need of more mental health drugs or different ones.
Ask yourself this question: Is anyone deficient in drugs that are in the same class as cocaine? The medical answer, of course, is “No”. No one is deficient in these drugs. They are chemical restraints that when the adverse effects start to take place, create more mental health symptoms for the individual. The adverse effects begin at different times and in different ways for each person taking them. Similar to any other drug, the body needs to metabolize the drug, otherwise toxicity occurs.
Returning to the recommendation given to the Subcommittee, be aware that if the school does initiate the Baker Act on you or on one of your friends, this may halt your ability to complete your college education. Another recommendation in this report is “mandating a one-time assessment for a student who has been involuntarily committed under the Baker Act, to be done prior to allowing the student to return to class.” Again, this report is making recommendations for all State Universities to adopt policy in relationship to this. Perhaps it may be beneficial for you to ask to get a copy of your college’s policy. In relation to a mandatory assessment, this assessment is by a mental health professional and is done based upon a list of symptoms, only, and does not rely on medical science. Mental health professionals have no trouble admitting that fact and in fact, the Diagnostical Manual used for billing purposes has been cited as having a majority of its contributors with financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.
Some college students experiment with the mental health drugs and use them to stay awake and study or to calm themselves down or a variety of uses. What is at stake here is a college student’s entire future. With a record as having been diagnosed with mental illness; or a history of mental health problems; or a Baker Act, will most definitely carry forward in the future of that individual’s career and personal life. The records are private medical records, but the history carries forward and if you are ever asked if you have been diagnosed or committed, at say the Department of Motor Vehicles or elsewhere, you would have to answer affirmatively. For anyone that is held past the 72 hour hold, on a Baker Act, if a petition to keep the individual in the facility, reaches the court, there will be a court record of this forever more and is available as a public record. Every medical practitioner who accesses your records will take into consideration all the stigma and rhetoric that is attached to the mental health history, as well.
People of all ages, throughout Florida, face this situation every single day. Unfortunately, it is often after the fact. Again, think through the facts and perhaps you want to get more information as to the medical testing that can be done to assist an individual in finding out the true cause of any unwanted mental health symptom.
Never fear, the media will have you think you are mentally ill or at least at risk of being so. In a 2015 updated report regarding State Universities,”Campus Safety and Security: Critical Issues”, there shows an increase of 16% in the amount of college students who are experiencing severe psychological problems since the year 2000 and a consistent and steady “increase in the number of students arriving on campus that are already on psychiatric medication.”
All the “buzz words” are cited as being surveyed with college students these days (the same words that are issued in the media on a continual basis); “overwhelming anxiety”, “difficulty functioning”, “depression”, and more. With a 48% increase in college students going to college campus mental health centers since 2008-2009, you know that the media, advertising and rhetoric is winning the race to get young people diagnosed and on costly mental health drugs. College student mental health problems are big money for some and costly in terms of dollars and futures, for others.
Your right, foremost, is to always be given the full factual information in regards to the risks of any proposed treatment and the alternative treatment. Your right is to know that alternative treatment does exist and that medical testing is available to help identify any genuine and physical cause, ailment, disease, deficiency, that may be causing you to experience anxiety, depression, lack of focus, etcetera.