Ashlyn Connor 0

TAMU Student Mental Health Self-Awareness & Improvement

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Policy Proposal: The Texas A&M Core Curriculum Committee should require all first year TAMU Undergraduate Students (including transfer students) to take an established Mental Health Self-Awareness and Improvement course as a condition of graduation.

  • Suicide is the #2 cause of college age student death
    • 50% of students experience suicidal thoughts
    • 18% seriously consider it
    • 8% act upon these thoughts
  • Depression and anxiety are the most pressing concerns for college age students
    • 9% of students diagnosed w/ depression
    • 33% reported feelings so depressed they were incapable of functioning
    • 62% reported feeling "very sad" at least one day the previous year
  • Only 20% of the students who commit suicide utilized counseling services (TAMU has Student Counseling Services, or SCS)
    • This number would be 18x higher though w/o provided therapy
    • Students most commonly attend (1) session & on average (4) sessions w/ SCS
    • Help is being underutilized in comparison to rates of students struggling

“Change at the institutional level would create a supportive and enabling environment wherein seeking mental health counseling is more often seen as taking steps to be healthy, just as we view eating healthy foods as favorable behaviors,” quoted Holland and Wheeler in the 2016 Michigan Sociological Review.

According to Texas A&M Leadership: “A&M students aren’t just joining a University, they’re joining a lifelong family that understands the value of loyalty, camaraderie, and unconditional support,” and I pray you’ll take action to protect the hearts and futures of our family.

-Data received from College Student Mental Health Counseling, Center for Collegiate Mental Health 2016 Annual Report, and the American College Health Association.

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