Rethinking the College Mental Health Crisis: Do Bubble Wrap and Special Snowflake Myths Prevent a Vision for Needed Change?

This is Part One of a three-part series about Mitigating the College Mental Health Crisis. Every generation has its’ own martyrdom anthems. Boomers (born 1945-1960): I had to walk ten miles in the snow to get to school. Generation X (born 1961-1980): I had to wait at the bus stop in the cold. Millennials (born 1981-1995): I didn’t always get a turn in the heated front seat on the way to school. Gen 2020 (born after 1995): They keep calling me special snowflake. As a first generation college student turned college professor, daughter, and mother of a college junior and a high school junior, both sides of the debate on who had it the “worst” are very familiar to me. Boomers: I never dreamt of going to college. It just wasn’t an option. I went straight to work. Generation X: I didn’t have that many choices for college. I had to work my way through. Millennials: I applied to 12 schools, took my SAT’s five times. And those essays... Gen 2020: I had homework in Kindergarten; my life mapped out by 8. Even with a perfect 4.0, test scores, and having founded a non-profit when I was 12, I won’t get in anywhere, and if I do, it will cost me more than a Range Rover. I’ve been in higher education for almost eight years, and in the mental health field for twenty-two. I arrived to University life because of my grave concerns about the escalating mental health crisis in education. Between admissions pressures, costs, and perils of actually finding a job after all that’s invested, anxieties are widespread, to say the least. A recent survey by STAT reveals that colleges are scrambling to keep up with the demands for mental health services, with average wait times of two weeks. The cry for adequate services is receiving national attention. In the wake of seven student deaths...

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