Examining the mental health of university students: A quantitative and qualitative approach to identifying prevalence, associations, stressors, and interventions

Cody et al. / Journal of American College Health / April 2022

Black Student with Black Counselor

This study sought to identify the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation that would place university students at risk for mental health disorders and to explore the source of stressors and possible interventions that may benefit student mental health in a university setting. The sample consisted of University students (n = 483) who had been learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study used a mixed-methods cross-sectional survey administered in 2020. The authors found that students were at an increased rate of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation as compared to the general population. Female gender, lack of social support, living alone, being a first-generation college student and COVID-19 were significantly associated with mental health disorders. Stressors were identified and categorized into themes and interventions were recognized that may improve student well-being. Students enrolled in university programs appear to experience significant amounts of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Additional mental health education, resources, and support are needed.