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The Mental Health Epidemic

In the article “What To Do About The Mental Health Epidemic Among Students? A Different Approach.” by┬áDr. Maggie Gilewicz, Gilewicz speaks about the mental health epidemic that is facing many students at colleges and universities worldwide. Gilewicz also points out how currently colleges and universities are implement resources for mental illnesses however they are ineffective because counselors do not care about the students and the solution is to bring in counselors who genuinely do care. Gilewicz also does point out how colleges and universities act reactively trying to give students counseling services instead of proactively to solve problems before them become detrimental to a student’s mental health.

In class we are currently learning about epidemics in the context of a disease or pathogen spreading throughout the population. However, I would like to take the time to consider the mental health epidemic in the context of college students. Since there is no way to observe the spread of mental health dynamically we can examine it passively with the statistics and research presented in the article. The article states that 1 in 4 young adults are affected by mental illness in the US. This being said that for every young adult with their connection of friends, 1 in 4 have a mental illness. In contrast with a disease epidemic where only infected people can infect others, the mental health epidemic can affect friends of those who are not infected.

Now let’s talk about the “cure”. Gilewicz points out that colleges and universities should be proactive and attacking the root of problem and helping students figure out themselves to begin with and getting them to know what it is exactly what they want to do in life instead of forcing them to study something that they do not care about. This is a different epidemic than the disease epidemics we study in class because instead of waiting for an epidemic to die out we must make institutional changes to cure this epidemic.


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