Campus Reform | SURVEY: Anxiety, depression are rising among college students

SURVEY: Anxiety, depression are rising among college students

A new survey found that college freshmen in Canada were experiencing depression and anxiety at higher rates, which may be appicable to students now during the pandemic.

The findings have implications for American college students.

A recent study published by researchers in the United Kingdom and Canada found that approximately one-third of college freshmen at Queen's University suffer from "moderate to severe" feelings of depression and anxiety.

The data is based on a survey of 1,686 students from the Canadian school between 2018 and 2019. 

The researchers found that "the rate of clinically significant anxiety symptoms" and "depressive symptoms" among students rose from 32.1% and 26.7%, respectively, to 37% and 32.5%, respectively. 

[WATCH: Quarantine depression? Students sound off on shutdowns, mental health crisis]

Expert opinion suggests that the survey's findings are applicable to American college students.

Dr. Rachel Conrad, a Harvard University instructor and the young adult mental health director at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, stated to Health Daily that, "We've been seeing that the mental health of college students has been deteriorating."

"Prior to the [COVID-19] pandemic, alcohol use had been decreasing, but stress, depression, anxiety, trauma and suicidal thoughts had been increasing," Conrad told the outlet study, adding that "alcohol use increased significantly in the college-age population as well." 

Health Daily also quoted psychologist Dr. Eric Endlich, who stated that drug and alcohol usage can lead to or compound depression and suicide. 

[RELATED: OSU survey: More students are burned out, unhealthier]

As the Omicron spreads, universities are once again going remote or imposing lockdowns.

Emily Oster, a professor at Brown University, argued this month that schools "have a responsibility to their students" to provide an on-campus education. 

Oster states that the isolation and loneliness of remote learning not only harms students' educational development but also their mental well-being. 

Campus Reform reached out to the study's lead researcher for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.


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