Ohlone students: stress top factor affecting classwork
October 14, 2015
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STEP Up Ohlone, in conjunction with the Student Health Center, ran a student mental health survey last semester to assess how we fare here on campus.
The results indicated that the No. 1 factor affecting academic performance, with 34 percent of students reporting it, was stress. Work follows close behind at 24 percent, and “54 percent of students reported academics as a traumatic or very difficult things to handle within the last 12 months.“
A shocking 6.9 percent of students have intentionally hurt themselves. 9.2 percent of students have considered suicide and 2.9 percent have actually attempted suicide.
The survey, given to 607 students over a two-week period in March, included 66 questions on topics ranging from drugs and alcohol to mental health and impediments to academic performance.
Organized by the American College Health Association, the National College Health Assessment has collected data on nearly 1.3 million students at nearly 700 colleges and universities since 2000.
STEP Up Ohlone is the college’s campaign to promote student mental health, prevent suicide and reduce stigma and discrimination.
The group organizes a series of events throughout the school year, including the “Out of the Darkness” walk to raise awareness about suicide prevention, and the National Depression Screening Day event on the Fremont and Newark campuses.
Other events this semester include the fall semester blood drive on Oct. 26, and the Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Conference on Nov. 21, both on the Fremont campus.
The survey indicates STEP Up’s efforts are badly needed: One in five students say they are feeling overwhelmed with everything going on.
When asked how students feel toward Ohlone, 12 percent of students said the “Ohlone environment has a negative impact on students’ mental and emotional wellbeing.” Fifty-one percent “feel that Ohlone encourages free and open discussion about mental and emotional health.”
STEP Up Ohlone’s goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, so the group asked questions about how many students would seek help.
Seventy-four percent of students said they would seek mental health services if needed. However, when asked what would likely stop them seeking help, 30 percent of students said embarrassment or fear. Still, 71 percent of students said they would feel comfortable suggesting personal counseling to friends who are struggling with mental health.
For more information, go to http://stepupohlone.org.
If you find yourself needing help, you can reach out to the Alameda County Crisis Support Hotline at 800-309-2131 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.