Category Young Adults

The Mental Health Tragedy in the US:
What Can Be Done?

Victor Schwartz, MD, Medical Director, The Jed Foundation

In an October 2015 segment of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver did a stunningly effective report on the tragic state of mental health services and care in the US. While it seems we only talk about mental health care as a national policy issue after mass shootings – which, as Oliver pointed out, is exactly the wrong time and context for this discussion – we have a national tragedy around mental health care.  Given that we only recently commemorated World Mental Health Day, it behooves us to take a few moments to consider the problem and what we might do about it, apart from the debate around gun violence and mental health.

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It Takes a Campus

How colleges and universities can better support students with behavioral health issues

Nance Roy, Ed.D.
Clinical Director, The Jed Foundation

The need for campus-based support for students with behavioral health conditions is clear. According to NAMI, nearly 73 percent of students living with a mental health condition experienced a mental health crisis on campus. Yet, 35 percent of those students reported that their college did not know about their crisis. Overall, 40 percent of students with diagnosable mental health conditions did not seek help.

Colleges can best meet students’ needs by enhancing institutional awareness and response to students who are struggling. While most colleges and universities have behavioral health services to support students, often not everyone on campus is aware of the resources. Even the best of programs and services can’t be effective if they remain largely unknown and not well utilized.

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So Now What? Mental Health and Making the Transition from High School to College

Jazmin Kay

Jazmin Kay
Mental Health Advocate, JED Foundation
Student, George Washington University

Like many students, I have dreamed about this week for years.

Packing up my car to the brim, wrapping up my childhood experiences into a scrappy cardboard box. Feeling a mixture of ecstasy and sadness as I smoosh the imprint of my face into the backseat window, I say goodbye to my hometown, and proceed to the next chapter of my life. But leaving for freshman year of college—contrary to what my movie-convinced middle school self believed—is not that “picture perfect.”

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You’ve Settled in at College, Now How Do You Balance Your Emotional Health?

The Jed Foundation

Congratulations, you’ve moved into college!
Living on your own comes with a new set of responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities. College is about learning and growing, broadening your horizons, and making new friends. College can be a transformative experience. Even if you’ve had struggles in the past, you can take care of yourself and do well in college.
THE JED FOUNDATION LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/The Jed Foundation)

As the new academic year begins, how can you be sure that you are ready for the emotional challenges and opportunities of college life? Here are some tips from the JED Foundation to help you take full advantage of what’s available to you for a successful time on campus.

Know how to make the most of your education
Managing a college workload is likely to be stressful, but there are ways to lighten the emotional load while still being a good student. Make the most of the knowledgeable people around you. Use academic advisors and get to know your professors. Attend office hours, even if it’s just to introduce yourself. A good connection with a professor could turn a boring course into a favorite. Find out what is expected of you academically and use support services (e.g., academic advisors or tutors, writing and IT support, multicultural services) on campus. This will help to minimize stress and maximize focus and efficiency.

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The Clock Is Ticking on the 7 Million Uninsured with Behavioral Health Conditions

Ron Manderscheid

Ron Manderscheid, PhD
Executive Director
National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors

Now is the time to help the 7 million uninsured Americans with behavioral health conditions understand their health coverage.

In a recent post, Hannah Sentenac discussed the challenges young adults face accessing mental healthcare. Because many Millennials are choosing job flexibility and self-employment over traditional employment, they are faced with the costly prospect of purchasing their own health insurance; and many have simply chosen to go without. Even for Millennials who have insurance (either employer-sponsored or self-purchased), high co-pays and hefty out-of-network charges have prevented many from obtaining mental health treatment, she states.

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Are Millennials Receiving Adequate Mental Health Coverage?

By: Hannah Sentenac

How hard is it to find the right health insurance, one that covers all of your medical and mental health needs and is affordable? It’s difficult for all of us, but more challenging for some. Now is the open enrollment period for many employer-sponsored health insurance plans, the ACA, and Medicare. Over the next several weeks CFYM will look at a variety of challenges facing different populations, beginning with today’s post on the generation of Millennials. .

Millennials are a lot of things: large in number, highly nontraditional, devotees of the almighty Google. A massive generation, we encompass everyone born between 1980 and 1999, which totals 80 Million+ Americans.

Unfortunately, we’re also a generation suffering from a lot of mental health woes.

Studies show Millennials tend to suffer from higher stress levels and mental health concerns than other generations. A 2013 study by the American Psychological Association and Harris Interactive found that more Millennials have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety than any other living generation, and that we’re more stressed than any other living generation.

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We Need to Provide Services that Young People Will Use

Dan Strauss, Executive Director
The Alex Project

Dan Strauss lost his 17-year old son, Alex, to suicide on October 11, 2010. Alex preferred communicating by text rather than by phone, and had texted friends and his counselor on the night of his death. Motivated to eliminate that communication barrier for young people in crisis, Mr. Strauss established The Alex Project, which supports crisis help line services by text. Care for Your Mind interviewed Mr. Strauss about youth suicide prevention and Alex’s experience with mental health care.

We Need to Provide Services that Young People Will Use
Crisis Intervention by Text Message for Preventing Youth Suicides

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Strategies For Addressing Youth Suicide—And The Barriers to Effective Treatment

King

Cheryl King, PhD
Institute for Human Adjustment, University of Michigan
National Network of Depression Centers

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among 15-to-24-year olds, and youth suicide remains a challenging public health problem that is strongly linked with psychiatric disorders and other mental health issues.

Research shows that there are effective education, prevention, and treatment intervention strategies to address this problem. However, there are also barriers that prevent young people from receiving the kind of help that can make a difference.

Some Evidence for Effective Approaches
While it’s a challenge to gather evidence for strategies that address suicide prevention, research indicates that certain approaches lead to increased awareness of risk factors, more referrals to treatment for those at risk, and reduced suicidal thoughts. In some instances, the studies have been large enough to look at reduction in suicide attempts. But we can’t say we have data on treatments and interventions that are actually shown to reduce suicides in youth.

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