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Register for Mental Health Awareness

by Sunah Choudhry

Assignment after assignment, the semester can start to become a minefield for students. Questions start to pop into their heads as to what assignment they should start with first, trying to figure out when to start a research paper and if they are truly okay mentally and emotionally.

For some, anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses might be on full blast, which takes a toll on students’ mental health. A topic many students do not know about or are not taught about is in fact mental health, which is why Montclair State University should implement a required course on mental health.

In elementary school, everyone warns you about how horrifying puberty is, but no one ever warns you about how mentally terrifying your twenties can be. From being completely dependent on one’s parents to being independent is a huge transition like no other.

On top of that comes all of these new responsibilities of ordering textbooks, doing laundry and completing college-level assignments. It is a lot of change going on all at once for college students.

The university offers different types of courses to students but also requires students to take general education courses. These courses typically take up 42 credits out of the 120 credits that are needed in order to graduate with a bachelors degree. Most of these courses cover topics such as cultural anthropology, history and even physical fitness.

If these types of courses are offered, then why not teach students about mental health as well? The mental health of students is just as important as knowing the history of our country. Students should at least be encouraged to learn ways to ease mental illness.

From a student’s perspective, your twenties feel like someone is constantly shaking your head like a pair of dice when playing Monopoly. Yeah, it does not sound pretty. Today, college students have to worry about how they are going to pay for school and how they are going to have fun and maintain the requirements of their grants or scholarships.

It is a scary time that can turn dark but with the support from the university, this can be a foot in the right direction for incoming students.

With all of this new change that may be good, it can also be bad for some students. According to affordablecollegesonline.org, college students suffer from eating disorders, anxiety, depression and/or bipolar disorder. A 2013 study found that anxiety is the number one problem that college students specifically suffer from and about 42 percent suffer from anxiety.

The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) also reported that 20 percent of college students suffer from an eating disorder. From women alone, 15 percent of women from the ages of 17 to 24 also suffer from an eating disorder.

Instead of raising the total amount of credits a student has to take in order to graduate by taking two human social science general education requirements, one of the courses can be replaced by a mental health course.

Another way to implement the course with ease could be splitting the gym requirement into two halves. One half of the semester would be the gym course and the other half of the course could be a mental health portion.

The university could also get psychology professors involved to teach the courses and give those in the field that additional job opportunity. There are a lot of ways to implement the course and give others an opportunity to learn about mental illness.

Students need a proper course on mental health as teenagers and those in their twenties suffer from mental illnesses now more than ever. Since more and more students are discovering they suffer from mental illness, it is important that Montclair State takes initiative to teach students about mental health.

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