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College Students To Participate In Awareness Day For Mental Health Problem On Campuses

Armen Hareyan's picture

Students from colleges and universities across the country will participate next week in National Stress Out Day, a joint initiative of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Active Minds, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to bring anxiety disorders, America's most common mental health problem, to the forefront.

These disorders, which often begin during the college years, can hold serious consequences for students when left untreated, including isolation from peers, school dropout, development of conditions including depression and substance abuse, and, in extreme cases, suicide attempts.

According to a new ADAA study, campuses nationwide report seeing an increasing number of students requiring mental health services for anxiety disorders. Almost 75 percent of the 40 million Americans with an anxiety disorder experience their first episode by age 22.

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The disorders, characterized by persistent, excessive and unreasonable worry and fear, include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias.

During National Stress Out Day, held on one day of each school's choosing April 16-20, students will host make-your-own stress ball, pie a professor in the face, and movie screening events to help students reduce stress related to upcoming final exams, while communicating the difference between normal stress/anxiety and an anxiety disorder.

"Through this important education and awareness initiative, we hope to reduce barriers that prevent students from seeking treatment, such as stigma, embarrassment, not knowing where to turn for help and 'self-medication' with alcohol or drugs," the organizers said.

Participating colleges include: