Photo Credit: Illinois Springfield via Compfight cc
Recently, the JED Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The Jordan Porco Foundation released the results from a study showing how young adults transition from high school to college. Many challenges arise at this tough time that can greatly affect how your future plays out. If we, as healthcare providers, know what these challenges are, we can help intervene!
The Harris Poll of 1,502 U.S. first-year college students found that emotional preparedness- which is defined by the ability to take care of oneself, adapt to new environments, control negative emotions or behavior, and build positive relationships– plays a major role in students’ success during their first year of college. Students who are less emotionally prepared for college were more likely to have a lower GPA and label their college experience as terrible or poor. 60% of the students wish they had more help with their emotional preparedness for college.
One of the major issues is that the support they wish they had was not there. 51% of the students said they found it difficult to get emotional support at college. So where do these students look for support when they need it?
76% turn to their friends for support
64% turn to their family for support
24% turn to the university staff for support
While some students are seeking support, 65% of first year college students say they tend to internalize these feelings about such challenges. Here at SOVA, we are determined to figure out a way to bring this percentage down. Our goal, via technology, is to provide another mode of support. Creating a safe and anonymous environment online, can give adolescents a way to out their challenges without feeling embarrassed. An online support community can also be extremely accessible at all times, unlike most of the other support systems.
As public health advocates, we are constantly concerned with cultural competencies and addressing the unique needs of those we serve. The Kaiser Health News recently published an article that showcases culture’s role in identifying depression and seeking treatment. Research has shown that Asian Americans are more likely to consider suicide than their white counterparts. Depression among this frequently overlooked and understudied population segment is particularly challenging due to the cultural barriers that stand in the way of diagnosing and treating the condition. The article notes that depression is often not seen as a brain disease and is typically stigmatized due to the high standards that are set within the culture. The author illustrates this through an incredibly poignant story of an adolescent Asian American girl’s struggle with depression and the challenges she faced when confronting her family regarding her mental health needs.
Please take a look and share your thoughts on issues you have faced relating to cultural competencies and overlooked and under-served population segments.
Lastly, don’t forget about our collaboration page and please provide us with your feedback whenever you have a moment!
Photo credit: http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/when-depression-and-cultural-expectations-collide/
Recently the Huffpost wrote about how Facebook has new ways to connect people who may mention suicidal statements in their status updates with resources that can help. This is especially relevant as young people do display depressive symptoms on social media. Currently, 1 out of 4 adolescents are updating their statuses with signs of depression. Research is beginning to pop up that suggests we could use data mining to identify suicidal language on social networking sites. Because of these trends, popular sites are beginning to address the issue of suicidality-related posting. Dosomething.org, a social action site for young people, created a crisis text line site that offers support for young people 24/7.
Have any of you heard of other organizations that have found creative ways to address these issues?
What do you think about these initiatives, and how can they be improved?
We want to know your thoughts!