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Daily CSR
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Sodexo Inc. Presents Three Steps To Erase The Stigma Of Mental Illness Among College Students


Researches show an undoubted rise in the number of student suffering from mental disorders. While societies, so far, have tabooed mental illness as a stigma, Sudexo urges the world to take simple measures to changing the stigma into an assurance of a better tomorrow.

Dailycsr.com – 21 March 2017 – When a student finishes high school and starts the journey of college, he can both be excited and scared at the same time. While parents see their children this stage as “opportunity” towards the beginning of self-sufficiency, statistics have revealed that in the year 0f 2016 there has been a “steady increase in mental illness among college students” as they are at times overwhelmed by the “newfound independence” and the pressure of college life.
Therefore, it is important to recognise the signs for mental illness among the said age group and to take due steps recommended by professionals. There are different kind of symptoms, it can come out in the form of “depression, anxiety, addiction, and eating disorders”. Time Magazines said people predisposition the above mentioned mental disorders will exhibit the symptoms by the age of twenty four, whereby affirming further the “correlation between age and mental illness”.
Moreover, Barry Telford, “CEO of Universities West for Sodexo North America and the President of Sodexo Canada”, writes that:
“In 2014, Psychology Today took a closer look at this epidemic by surveying students ages 15-18 and 18-24. Comparatively, they also cited a study conducted in 2000 which found that high school students’ anxiety levels rivaled the anxiety levels of a psychiatric patient in the 1950s. It is unsurprising that 17 years later we are looking at a dramatic increase in mental illness among the latter of the two groups, college students (ages 18-24)”.
In fact, social media adds to the pressure that leads to “an entirely different, and equally predominant” stress factors in the Millennial, as under the pressure of a successful and happy social media life students shit themselves up whereby allowing “little room” for solving their problems.
However, it has to be noted that every college student suffering from these mental illness will exhibit varying symptoms, while BestCollege.com says that the signs could come as “general sadness, lack of interest in activities and social involvement, changes in weight, irritability, fearfulness, tension, and pain in muscles among others”. In extreme cases it may relate to “thoughts of death or drastic behavioral changes” which could be indicators of suicide attempts and are to be taken seriously.
Here are three steps that can help to prevent either the “appearance” of mental illnesses or at least stop them from getting worse:
  1. Maintaining Interaction: Parents need to keep a close bond and watch on the children wherein one does not have to “necessarily” bombard the latter with questions but to interact with them in a “good way” by giving them enough space, visiting their schools on occasions, talking to them about their week and important of all making them safe and comfortable so that they are willing to share their problems.
  2. Being A Patient Listener: When a child shares his/her problems, it is important to listen carefully so as to gather “all information”. Instead of a disinterested or a passive listener, active listing and reactions can allow “deeper dialogue and more conversation”.
  3. Showing Support Is Caring: Irrespective of situations, a mental patient requires reassurance, therefore it is important for the parents to show their support even if it means “backing someone’s decision to take a leave of absence for a semester or even just deleting their social media platforms”. However, one cannot stop at the support, after all parents need to pitch in developing a plan to cope with the issue maybe in the form of “seeking counseling, taking a leave of absence, starting medication”.
It is an epidemic about which plethora of documents can be found while lack of support in “adjusting to the changes of adulthood” can leave a stigma can usher in deadly consequences. Therefore, the society as a whole need to erase the stigma by interacting, listening, supporting and caring to start with. In fact, Telford also believes that:
“…great performance is driven by strong, inclusive leadership based on family and community-centered values and a commitment to serve others”.