Study: 1 in 3 college freshmen worldwide has mental health condition

Health

College freshmen in Australia and in the U.S. are more similar than you might think — at least when it comes to mental health.

A new study from the World Health Organization suggests that one in three college freshmen worldwide has a mental health condition.

Researchers conducted a survey of nearly 14,000 freshmen from nine colleges and universities across eight different countries, including Spain, Germany, South Africa, the United States. It’s a first of its kind to look internationally at what the students say are mental health disorders they share: Major depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder.

A third of freshmen said they’d had at least one mental health issue, either in their lifetime or within the last year. One in five had gone through major depression, the most reported by students.

Transgender students and students 20 years or older were the most likely to report mental health disorders. Internationally, there is a growing mental health burden among young adults.

Colleges and universities worldwide are struggling to expand their services and screening efforts — so that the challenge of college can be classes and new experiences, not the challenges of mental health. 

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