Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health
Data Point of the Month
Data Point of the Month
We are excited to begin a “Data Point of the Month” series! Each data point we share in this series aims to highlight an interesting finding from our national Healthy Minds Study or other data sets. Check out the data below:
December 2016: December’s Data Point of the Month comes from the recently published analysis (Pedrelli, Borsari, Lipson, Heinze, & Eisenberg, 2016) of combined HMS data from 2007-2013. Over these years, 11.7% of females and 11.4% of male college students surveyed in the national HMS screened positively for both Major Depression Disorder (MDD) and Heavy Episodic Drinking (HED). Of these high-risk groups, only 32.71% of females and 24.31% of males actually were engaged in mental health treatment during the year of their survey response. Among students who were not part of this high-risk group, rates of help-seeking behaviors were even lower. This unfortunately indicates that all college students, even those with the highest risk of severe mental health problems, are not adequately being engaged in treatment, therapy, or counseling.
November 2016: Our data point this month comes from our 2015-16 HMS national data report. During the 2015-2016 academic year, about 50% of college students surveyed in the national Healthy Minds Study (HMS) indicated that they needed help for emotional or mental health problems yet only 23% of students received counseling or therapy. It is important to understand the barriers preventing students from accessing available services on their campuses.
October 2016: This Data Point of the Month illustrates the clear relationship between mental health and academic outcomes. In the graph below, you can see that as PHQ-9 depression scores increase from 0 (no symptoms of depression) to 27 (symptoms of severe major depression), students report less confidence that they will complete their degree. About 95% of students with no/low symptoms strongly agree/agree that they "will be able to finish my degree no matter what challenges I may face" compared to less than half of students with the highest depression symptom levels.
September 2016: This month’s data point highlights one of Katie Buchholz’s (a presenter of this month's webinar) findings pertaining to sexual assault and help-seeking rates. Among students reporting a past-year sexual assault and screening positive for a mental health issue, she examined the difference between rates of seeking informal help (e.g., from friends, family, etc.) and seeking professional help (e.g., from psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.). She finds that 90.5% of these students have received informal help in the previous year, whereas only 57.4% have received professional help. This highlights the importance of ensuring that people in the informal support network have the information and skills to respond appropriately when victims of sexual assault reach out to them.
August 2016: This month we examined a survey items related to bystander intervention behaviors. Students were asked whether, in the past year, they had witnessed certain situations and whether they had intervened by trying to help. An important next step is to understand more about what motivates students to intervene in particular situations and not intervene in others. Here is an overview of the results.
Bystanding: “In the past year, I witnessed the following risky or difficult situations but did NOT intervene”:
Risky drinking: 20% Possible sexual assault: 2% Hurtful language: 14% Emotional distress: 4% Upstanding:“In the past year, I have intervened in the following situations”: Risky drinking: 34% Possible sexual assault: 8% Hurtful language: 31% Emotional distress: 36%
June 2016: This month we are focusing on a survey question related to campus climate and culture. Students were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “At my school, I feel that the academic environment has a negative impact on students’ mental and emotional well-being”. Just over one-third (37.4%) believe that the academic environment has a negative impact on student well-being. This varies from a low of 15.2% at one campus to a high of 77.2% at another campus. An important next step is to understand more about why this perception varies so much across campuses.
April 2016: With final exams approaching at many schools, we thought you might be interested in the relationship between anxiety symptoms and the amount of time that students spend on schoolwork. The chart below indicates that anxiety is highest among students who spend a very little amount of time on schoolwork and also those who spend a very large amount of time, as compared to those in the middle.