Study Shows More Students Suffering from Mental Health Issues

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PANAMA CITY- According to a new study nearly one in every 10 college students is receiving mental health counseling on campus.

"Life does not stop when you come to college, and a lot of things that happen in our lives, and a lot of things that are beyond your control, and you may need help with and our purpose is to help our student be successful," said Leigh bailey, Gulf Coast State College counselor.

"I was anxious to come to school. I was enrolled here and wasn't really sure about what classes to take you know, what my major would be, what I want to study," said Mark King, Gulf Coast State College student.

Gulf Coast State College counselors say these typical questions can lead to big problems.

According to the non-profit "Active Minds," more college students are arriving on campus already receiving mental health treatment.

Anxiety or depression is the most common.

The study shows that nearly half of college students say they have felt depressed in the past year, making it difficult to function.

Two-thirds of those who need help don't receive it.

"We would love to say that there is no need but there is.

Gulf Coast Vice President of Student Affairs Melissa Lavender says most of the problems can be attributed to lifestyle changes.

"They’re being looking at peer pressure in a different way. They're away from home for the first time," Lavender said.

Gulf Coast started a behavioral intervention team about three years ago after faculty members notice changes in student’s behavior and contacted the counseling center.

"We have referrals from our faculty quit frequently, from people that they have noticed and have come to them with issues in their lives so they refer to us and we talk to them about what's going on," said Bailey.

Gulf Coast officials are working with a Tampa group called Bay Care.

Their goal is to provide long term counseling or outside therapy to students that need it, at no cost.