Mental Health Matters for High-Achievers, Too
News 39 percent of students report having at least one mental health diagnosis, and half of all mental health issues reported begin by age 14.
Accepted to his top-choice school, 3.8-grade point average, editor of his campus sports newspaper —these are just a few achievements of Brian, a student at an ivy league university who died by suicide on March 24, 2000. Unfortunately, Brian’s story isn’t an anomaly. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Active Minds shares Brian’s story to ensure that students know they are not alone in dealing with their mental health.
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) works with Active Minds in a crucial partnership. As the premier honor society for high-achieving first-and second-year students, NSCS is a gateway to the collegiate journey for academically gifted scholars, like Brian.
According to Active Minds, thirty-nine percent of students report having at least one mental health diagnosis, and half of all the mental health issues reported begin by age 14. Anxiety is the most common among students, yet sadly only one-third seek treatment.
The partnership connects Active Minds and NSCS chapters nationwide to promote joint programming and sharing of information. NSCS chapters focus on mental health during their annual Integrity Week activities, and are tasked to fundraise for Active Minds. 20 percent of the proceeds are dedicated to a new student-centered mental health advocate award.
“NSCS supports all forms of education, tools and resources that end the stigma and normalize the act of seeking help. Often students who excel academically are quite busy and need to take time to focus on their own personal well-being. While there are many great honor societies on campus, this is just one more unique benefit that we offer and one more indication of how we really want to be committed to the student experience,” said Stephen E. Loflin, founder of NSCS and a 30-year veteran of student affairs.
For students to feel comfortable speaking out about their struggles with mental health, their surrounding environment and community must facilitate a space for the conversation. The partnership between Active Minds and NSCS is one that focuses on creating a safe space for students to get the help they need. Addressing the stigma surrounding mental health disparities among high-achievers is not a luxury, but a duty.