Written By Marc Lehman
‘Parent and College Students we need a change.’ This is the headline I read every week or so, as another article gets printed by major publications talking about the immense problem on college campuses with mental health across the country.
I have been a family therapist for over 20 years working with students in HS and College. I am also a father of two kids 17 and 19 years old. After being around this population of kids professionally and personally I have concluded one very important thing—we need to change the way we offer help to them.
The population of young adults will soon be running our communities. They will be teachers, police officers, store owners, doctors, nurses and many other professionals. Many of them will have long histories of mental health issues that are out of control if we don’t make a change soon.
The bottom line is we have a large population on most college campuses of students struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidality.
The stats are shocking:
65% of students with overwhelming anxiety
38% of students with depression
Only 7% of parents report that their student is having mental health problems
Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death in college students
A shocking 2/3 of all college students needing help do not get it.
Why are there so many students needing help?
College life can be tremendously stressful in that many students don’t have healthy ways to burn off stress. They are stressed due to school work and interpersonal conflicts and don’t know how to manage things.
In addition, there is a sparse amount of options for students due to the increased demand and minimal staff that most campuses have. Campus staff are often overwhelmed and students feel isolated.
The current average ratio nationally of mental health provider to student is 1 to 1700. For some campuses it is as bad a 1 provider to 2500 students.
This easily translates to many students simply will go without help. That means many students will remain extremely sad or depressed, overwhelmingly anxious and some may attempt to harm themselves. Let me remind you all these are our future leaders, our neighbors, and our own kids.
Some estimate as few as only 11% of students who are deemed too need help are actually getting help while at college. This trend is disturbing. We need to consider a change. Changing how to reach students. This is the basis of why I developed U ARE HEARD. We are an online coaching solution that helps college students manage their mental health. I have an amazing staff of coaches with varied backgrounds ready to assist.
The online option has been very appealing to students. It allows us to end the stigma and negative feeling some students have of going to an office to see someone. Our students can see us from the privacy of their room, study room in their dorm or even a private room in the library. We bring the support to them through video sessions. Video calling is actually done more by college students than phone calling. Most students are very comfortable having conversations in this format.
The online format has also allowed me to hire coaches throughout the country. This has increased my ability to have an all-star staff helping students. I have individuals contacted me daily to work for U ARE HEARD.
If we as parents or students don’t look to get help differently than the way we always have, then the stats listed above will continue and eventually get worse. Why do we as adults accept the same way of doing things if it is not working.
U ARE HEARD is engaging and an easy to use solution. Many students look forward to meeting and getting the help. As an in office provider of therapy for teens, this is not always the case with many young adults.
We at U ARE HEARD, have helped many as we bring support directly to the student. We assist through online sessions. We work within your students schedule and allow for them to get help when they otherwise may not. Helping students is our passion. We want students to know there is support available and it doesn’t have to be hard to set up.
We need to change the way we help.
We need to allow students to have their difficulties and BE HEARD.
We need to offer help that works with them and fits into their lifestyle.
We need to offer help that is engaging and appealing so they accept it and want to use it.
Written By Marc Lehman, Family Therapist and College Coach at
U ARE HEARD LLC