Depression rate for college students on the rise

Mayra Salazar

Listen to students talk about depression.

The depression rate for college students has increased by 17 percent just within the past five years. 

What is the cause to this rise?

According to Cerritos student Stephanie Do, business administration major, the answer is obvious: the economy.

“My mom was laid off, my dad was laid off and I don’t have a job,” Do said, “only one person in my house is employed.”

When realizing the everyday stress of college life in addition to the financial worries that students like Do must deal with, her thoughts seems so much more valid.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the current economic recession began in 2007, which was around the same time depression rates began to shoot up.

Today, a survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control has confirmed that one out of every four college students suffers from some type of mental illness, including more than one-third of whom suffered from major depression.

Concerned about this information, more than 500 colleges nationwide offered screenings for depression and other related disorders on Oct. 7, National Depression Screening Day.

The screenings offered were free and anonymous, consisting of a questionnaire, which could possibly determine a student’s risk for such disorders, available to be completed online or at a participating campus.

Though Cerritos College did not take part in this national event, Student Health Services offers mental wellness services throughout the year.

“We didn’t actually do [screenings] that day, but we have a screening tool that we use on a daily basis,” coordinator of Student Health Services, Nancy Montgomery said.

Student Health Services has its own similar form for depression screening, and also offers short term counseling and a stress reduction workshop available to students here.

Do was not convinced that students in need of such help would actually seek it, but agreed that using such tools could help decrease their stress significantly which, in turn, would bring the college student depression rate back down.

“With the state of the economy right now, [students] are struggling and when you put that together with the pressure of going to school and trying to make it, they don’t know what to do. It’s stressful,” she said.

Montgomery added that all students who feel that they are at risk for any type of depression or in need of such mental health services, are “welcomed to make an appointment to come into [the] clinic at anytime.”