Mandate mental health education

Some students may overlook the importance of mental health education, but it should be mandatory for all college students. It will help us see diverse perspectives, understand ourselves better and reduce misunderstandings. Mental health education and awareness are especially important as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are on the rise. 

According to a 2023 article from Higher Education Today, “The growing mental health crisis among young adults is one of the most pressing public health issues. The World Health Organization reported that approximately 20 percent of young adults will have experienced a mental health problem (mostly depression or anxiety) by 2024.” 

With mandatory mental health education, everyone will be taught facts as well as diversity of experiences and struggles people with mental health issues may encounter. It will broaden everyone’s perspective and potentially help us become more accepting and understanding of our peers.  

Today’s society has, in fact, brought about a lot of pressure, confusion and change. As stated by educational consultant EdGate, “From having to meet high academic standards to navigating the pressure-packed world of social media to maintaining healthy relationships with classmates, students today face unprecedented challenges. Add to all this increasingly busy schedules that result in a lack of sleep, limited exercise, and poor nutrition.” 

But there aren’t enough mental health professionals to monitor and watch out for everyone. If young adults were educated to take better care of themselves and others, it could help speed up detecting potential or developing mental health issues.  

Throughout each year, Kirkwood hosts many optional mental health training and awareness events. Some instructors even offer extra credit or assignments related to these events. But, the college should take it one step further and require mental health education.  

Currently, Kirkwood students are required to complete an online training that focuses on sexual assault awareness. This is an important topic that warrants the requirement. With the rise in mental health issues, this also warrants required education.  

With additional education, mental health issues will be more widely understood and some of the issues may even decrease over time. Also, people will be more considerate and understanding of each other, which could ultimately help unite us rather than divide us.  

Categories: Opinion, Staff Editorials