Navigating Mental Health Challenges on College Campuses

January 17, 2024

Written by: Aria Rosenberg

Finding mental health resources can be challenging for young adults transitioning to large colleges like Mizzou in Columbia, Missouri. Open Arms Wellness offers compassionate counseling for adults, teens, college students, and couples located close to campus in downtown Columbia, Missouri.

Did you know 61% of college students seek therapy? Mental health is a crucial aspect of student well-being, and its significance is increasingly recognized on college campuses across the nation. 


How does therapy help college students?

Therapy for college students offers relief from anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. It also provides more confidence and decision-making skills. Therapy can increase the ability to manage stress and over whelming thoughts effectively.


Why should college students seek therapy Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO?

Any time there is a major change or event, emotions may be overwhelming, and mental health may suffer as a result. By having a therapist to speak with during these big life transitions, college students can get the help they need to improve their resilience and work their way through the most challenging of times.


Some of the most prevalent mental health diagnosis among college students:


1.         Anxiety Disorders:

2.         Depression:

3.         Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

4.         Eating Disorders:


At Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, Missouri we take time to reassure college students mental health and well-being. Open Arms Wellness in Columbia specializes in helping college students get through major life transition. Open Arms Wellness is conveniently located in downtown Columbia Missouri near the Mizzou campus.


The Current Landscape of College Students Seeking Therapy:

Recent statistics reveal a growing acknowledgment of mental health concerns among college students, leading to an increase in the number seeking therapy. According to a national survey conducted across various universities, approximately 30% of college students have utilized counseling or therapy services during their academic journey. This indicates a significant recognition of the importance of mental well-being among the student population. However, these numbers also highlight that a considerable portion of students may still be navigating their mental health challenges without seeking professional help.


Barriers Hindering College Students from Accessing Therapy:

Despite the increasing awareness of mental health issues, various barriers hinder college students from accessing therapy services. One prominent obstacle is the stigma associated with seeking help. Social stigma can create a reluctance among students to openly discuss their mental health concerns or take the step to seek therapy. Additionally, logistical challenges, such as limited availability of counseling services, long waiting lists, and the demand for flexible hours, pose significant barriers. Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, Missouri has immediate availability for in-person and telehealth sessions for Mizzou students. Open Arms Wellness accepts insurance and has highly qualified counselors that specialize in college students.


 The Impact of Academic Pressure and Time Constraints:

Academic pressures and time constraints are substantial factors that can impede college students from prioritizing their mental health. The demanding nature of coursework, exams, and extracurricular commitments often leads students to prioritize academic responsibilities over seeking therapy. Many students may perceive therapy as time-consuming, potentially hindering their academic performance. Understanding and addressing the specific challenges posed by academic pressures are crucial to breaking down barriers and encouraging students to prioritize their mental well-being.


 A commonly asked question:


Q: What if I'm uncomfortable discussing personal matters with a therapist?

A: It's normal to feel apprehensive initially. Therapists are trained to create a safe and non-judgmental space. Building trust takes time, and therapists work at your pace.


Strategies for Breaking Down Barriers:

To overcome these barriers, colleges and universities are implementing proactive strategies that include talk therapy like what is provided at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO. This includes expanding mental health awareness campaigns to reduce stigma and increasing the availability of counseling services. Additionally, integrating mental health education into curricula helps normalize discussions around well-being, encouraging students to prioritize their mental health throughout their college journey.


As the conversation around mental health continues to evolve, addressing the specific challenges faced by college students seeking therapy is essential to fostering a supportive and inclusive campus environment. Recognizing and dismantling barriers will contribute to a more accessible and effective mental health support system for all students.


1. Before Therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO:

Before seeking therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, students of local colleges like Mizzou, may grapple with a myriad of challenges that impact their overall well-being. Academic stressors, social pressures, and the transition to a new and often independent phase of life can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Without the support of therapy, students may find themselves navigating these stressors in isolation, leading to persistent feelings of unease, self-doubt, and emotional exhaustion. Interpersonal relationships may suffer as students struggle to communicate their needs effectively, and the weight of unresolved issues can hinder personal growth and hinder academic success. Before therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, students may lack the tools and coping mechanisms necessary to navigate the complex landscape of college life at Mizzou or other local colleges, resulting in a cycle of emotional distress that persists without intervention.


2. After Therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO:

After engaging in therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, students at local colleges like Mizzou may experience a transformative shift in their mental and emotional well-being. Through counseling sessions at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, students gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their thought patterns, and the root causes of their challenges. Armed with coping strategies and enhanced self-awareness, they learn to navigate stressors more effectively. Improved communication skills empower students to foster healthier relationships, both personally and academically. With the support of a therapist at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, students may develop resilience, a sense of empowerment, and a greater ability to manage life's ups and downs. Academic performance can see positive changes as students apply newfound skills to enhance focus, time management, and problem-solving, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling college experience.


Parental Concerns and Awareness:

Parents play a crucial role in the mental well-being of their college-going children. Before their child seeks therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, parents may observe changes in behavior, academic performance, or communication patterns that raise concerns. These concerns often trigger a range of emotions, including worry and confusion. The stigma associated with mental health may lead some parents to initially grapple with understanding or accepting that their child may benefit from therapy. However, as awareness grows and conversations surrounding mental health become more normalized, parents are increasingly recognizing the importance of supporting their children's emotional and psychological needs.


Parents May Notice Before Therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO:

Before their college students embark on a therapeutic journey at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, parents may witness their children grappling with the challenges of academic pressure, social transitions, and personal growth. Without the support of therapy, parents may feel helpless as they see their child navigate these challenges independently. Communication breakdowns may occur, with students finding it challenging to express their emotions or seek guidance. Parents may witness their child facing emotional distress in isolation, potentially impacting their overall college experience, and hindering their ability to thrive both academically and personally.


After Therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, and Parental Support:

After their college student engages in therapy at Open Arms Wellness in Columbia, MO, parents often observe positive transformations. Improved communication between parents and students becomes evident, fostering a deeper understanding of each other's perspectives. Parents witness their children gaining valuable coping mechanisms, enhanced emotional intelligence, and resilience. The stigma surrounding therapy gradually dissipates, as parents recognize the significant impact it has on their child's well-being. Ultimately, the journey from before therapy to after therapy is a collaborative effort, with parents playing a vital role in providing ongoing support, understanding, and encouragement for their college students' mental health journey. The shared experience of therapy strengthens the parent-student bond, contributing to a more supportive family environment that fosters continued growth and well-being.


 Impact on Classroom Dynamics:

College teachers are deeply affected by the challenges faced by students who do not seek therapy for their mental health concerns. In a classroom setting, educators may notice disruptions in academic performance, lack of engagement, or changes in behavior that signal underlying emotional struggles. Students dealing with untreated mental health issues may find it challenging to concentrate on coursework, participate in class discussions, or meet academic expectations. This can create a dynamic where educators are navigating the delicate balance of addressing academic needs while recognizing and responding to the well-being of their students. The emotional well-being of students is intricately connected to their ability to learn and succeed academically, and when mental health concerns go unaddressed, it can impact the overall classroom environment and the effectiveness of teaching strategies.


 Emotional Toll on Educators:

The responsibility of guiding and supporting students extends beyond academics, and educators often find themselves taking on a supportive role in students' lives. When students avoid seeking therapy, teachers may bear witness to the emotional struggles of their students without the tools or training to provide the necessary support. This can place an emotional burden on educators, as they may feel compelled to address students' mental health needs without the expertise to do so effectively. The emotional toll on teachers is further heightened when they witness students facing challenges that could be addressed through therapy. An environment where mental health concerns are unaddressed can create additional stress for educators, impacting their ability to create a positive and inclusive learning environment. Therefore, the well-being of college teachers is intricately connected to the mental health support available to their students, highlighting the importance of a holistic approach to education that prioritizes both academic and emotional well-being.