Study Finds Diagnoses of PTSD Among College Students More Than Doubled Since 2017

A new study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among college students have risen dramatically. The study analyzed data from five waves of the Health Minds Study, collected from 332 colleges and universities across the United States. It found that the prevalence of PTSD increased from 3.4% in 2017-2018 to 7.5% in 2021-2022. The increase was most significant in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on academic life.

The study's authors suggest that pandemic-related stressors, such as the loss of loved ones and the aftermath of traumatic events on campus, could contribute to the rise in PTSD diagnoses. They also suggest that changes in diagnostic criteria may be allowing more students to receive treatment.

Colleges and universities are responding to this mental health crisis among students by increasing the availability of mental health resources and prevention programs. Many campuses are hiring more therapists with expertise in PTSD treatment and providing remote services like teletherapy and wellness apps.

This study highlights the urgent need for further action to address the mental health needs of college students, including investment in prevention strategies and increased access to mental health services. Let's hope we can collectively support the mental health of students in college campuses across the country.

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