Fifty percent of college students cited their own mental health struggles as their top stressor going into 2023, according to a survey of 1,200 students nationwide conducted by the virtual health services provider TimelyMD. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were most concerned about their personal finances, and 37 percent named academics, while mass shootings and inflation were each cited by 35 percent.
The survey showed that mental health needs are especially dire among students in certain underrepresented groups; while 71 percent of all students said they were struggling with stress, anxiety and depression, that number was higher among transgender students (93 percent), nonbinary students (91 percent) and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Island Native students (83 percent).
Similar patterns emerged among students who reported they were feeling distressed about meeting basic needs. Eighty-four percent of American Indian students, 79 percent of transgender students, 73 percent of nonbinary students and 68 percent of all LGBTQ+ students said they have experienced anxiety due to a lack of basic needs, such as food and shelter, compared to 59 percent of all respondents.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were open to turning to their peers for emotional support, while 53 percent “are on the fence about seeking professional mental health support,” the report showed. Most students (84 percent) said their families are supportive of them seeking professional help.