Learning Resources Text Course Text: Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2018). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Chapter 7, “The Worth of Personal Experience, Case Examples, Testimonials, and Statements of Authority as Evidence” Chapter 8, “How Good Is the Evidence: Personal Observation, Research Studies?”

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Latosha Detharidge
Capstone Project: Mental Health Disorder
Walden University
Dr. Lyons
Awareness Creation on Mental Health Disorder in Various Public Universities through an
Outreach Programme.
Statement of the problem
Over the last decade, the cases on mental health among students in universities have been
increasing drastically. The cases reported by the health practitioners are depressions, anxiety and
in extreme cases bipolar disorder and suicidal attempts. The students need to be educated on the
early signs of mental health disorder, the subsequent symptoms, the services offered by the
institutions, among them, counselling services. The indication of the increasing rate of mental
health disorder among students is; frequent counseling center visits.
Problem Statement
In most universities, cases of mental illness have been prevalent among students where
physicians have confirmed that most cases reported are on depression, anxiety, suicidal attempts,
and in severe scenarios bipolar disorder. Therefore, this calls for swift action such as educating
students on the early symptoms of mental illnesses. University institutions should include in their
facilities counseling services so that such cases be minimised. On the same note, the public too
should take part in assisting those with mental disorders. However, the public can be informed to
support such people when there an awareness program is provided and well established. A study
conducted by Pedrelli, revealed that “88 % of counselling centre directors reported an increase in
“severe” psychological problems over the previous five years including learning disabilities, selfinjury incidents, eating disorders, substance use, and sexual assaults.” (Pedrelli, Zulauf & Wilens
et al., 2014) Therefore, if the problem is not fixed, then the future generation will be affected.
It is apparent that universities report higher incidents of mental disorders for this reason;
the project will seek to address the influence that an outreach program would create after creating
awareness on mental health disorders among students in universities and colleges. Such mental
diseases are caused by stressful times in the university such as examinations and the distance
between family and close friends. According to Pedrelli, students first exhibit symptoms of mental
illness when they are subjected to the factors as mentioned earlier. Additionally, old students start
taking adult responsibilities since they tend not to be dependent on parents anymore (Pedrelli, Nyer
& Yeung et al., 2014). Therefore, burdening students with such responsibilities even before they
attain the mature age may subject cause them to have mental disorders. There is need for
counseling due to the psychological and social issue that faces students. On the same note students
do need lots of vocational guidance where students find themselves not knowing what career to
choose, that alone may lead to depression.
Pedrelli noted that for the past five years, there was a surge in psychological disorders after
88% of the counseling directors attested to it (Pedrelli, Nyer & Yeung et al., 2014). Notably, the
second most dreaded case of mental disorder is depression since it is reported by 9% of all
university students. The third in position is having suicidal thoughts, and it has been found to lead
to more deaths. According Assari, it is evident student’s exhibit 7% ideation, 2% suicidal Plans,
and 0.5 suicidal attempts based on the statistics of last year (Assari & Moghani, 2018). The specific
problem is that there is a tremendous demand for mental health services although only a few seek
counseling services. Students seek assistance from family members and close friends. According
to Brown, the reason they do so is for fear of stigmatization (Brown, 2018). Additionally, they take
things for granted by assuming that everything is normal.
If the disorder is not treated on time, it could lead to more severe illnesses such as severe
stress, schizophrenia, and inability to think in an upright manner. Additionally, people change their
emotions and behaviours. A study conducted in universities and colleges revealed that above 11%
of the entire population of students had been diagnosed and treated with mental illness (Cline,
2007). However, the first indicator of such illness is witnessed on emotional change.
Purpose of the project
The purpose of my project is to assess the impact that an outreach program would have in
creating awareness on mental health disorder among students in the universities. Institutions of
higher learning remain to have the highest cases of mental health disorder among the youth
(Pedrelli, Nyer, Yeung, Zulauf & Wilens 2014).
Integrative literature Review
Attending the university can be stressful at times. Apart from the pressure from academic
work that students have to undertake and examinations, there an aspect of separation from family
and close friends. This is when the students experience the first onset of mental health disorder or
an exacerbation of an already existing problem (Pedrelli, Nyer, Yeung, Zulauf & Wilens 2014).
For the traditional students, they are normally younger and dependent on the parents and they have
not been working, therefore, they start to take up adult responsibilities and yet they are not mature
enough to do so and be independent (Pedrelli et.al 2014). For the non-traditional students, they
face the challenge of juggling between their academics, working and providing for their families.
This might be stressful and unbearable. “In a survey of 274 institutions, 88 % of counseling center
directors reported an increase in “severe” psychological problems over the previous 5 years
including learning disabilities, self-injury incidents, eating disorders, substance use, and sexual
assaults” (Pedrelli et.al 2014).
Depression is ranked as the second most prevalent cases of mental health disorder among
the university students at about 9% (Assari& Moghani 2018). Suicidal cases have also been
reported which is said to be the third most leading cause of death among the adults (Assari&
Moghani 2018). Among the students the statistics indicate 7% ideation, suicidal plans at 2% and
0.5% attempts last year (Assari& Moghani 2018).
Despite the increasing demand for mental health services, a third with the distress seeks
counselling services. Therefore, they prefer seeking help from friends and family. The reason for
this is the fear for stigmatization (Brown 2018). They also assume that stress is normal in school
and they can handle it.
Mental health disorder is like any other medical problem that consists of several problems
and different signs and symptoms. It is associated with several changes in a person’s emotions,
how one thinks and behavior of a person or conjunction of all these changes. Example of this
illness includes; thinking disabilities, schizophrenia, and stress. This type of illness mostly comes
as a result of stress or issues in society, workplace and family actions. The illness is treatable if
someone seeks medical attention and they can carry on with their daily activities as usual without
any problem.
Mental illness has become a major concern since there is an increasing trend in this illness.
It is widely spreading into universities and colleges where it has led to many lives of young people
who are the backbones of the future generation. In universities, mental illness comes as a result of
students having to leave their homes where they have an attachment with their parents and go to
study in a different state or country hence they are affected emotionally because of the gap due to
the distance. Also by students having to take adult responsibility that they were never used to and
pressure from assignments in universities can cause this problem.
In a research that has been done in universities and colleges, it has shown that more than
11 percent of the total population of the students have been diagnosed or treated with the problem
of mental illness due to emotional change and 10 percent have reported on being treated on the
issue of depression or stress (Cline, 2007). Several students are reported of not seeking medical
attention due to stigma and shame that they feel. Cases of students who commit suicide in
universities have been on the increase due to mental illness problems.
Critical Resource Review
In recent years, there has been a tremendous rise in the case reported to health facilities on
mental health disorder. This trend has been explicated especially amongst the university students.
Apparently, around the globe, most people believe that mental disorder only occurs to a given
group of individual, which makes them not be prepared for any uncertainty on their health
prospects. Mental health disorder manifests in different ways including depression, anxiety,
bipolar disorder, and suicidal thoughts. In a research conducted in the University of Nairobi, a
35.7% prevalence of depression amongst students was noted. The research points out that these
depressive characteristics were however common amongst the first year students, economically
disadvantaged, the married and those living off campus (Othieno, 2014). Takim 2013, conducted
a study which yielded the result that there is a vast number of students who drop out of their studies
before completion, His research also indicated that the rise in drop out level was as a result of the
development of mental disorder that comes in after enrolment to college (Tamin, 2013).
The prevalence of mental disorders in the world account for 15% of the majority of
maladies known to the world. According to Abera and Tekle,2018 student stage of human life
makes them more prone to be mentally disordered. They point out that during the transition from
high school to university education makes the students more prone to mental illness. Their research
findings also point out that the female students in the university tend to be more affected by these
changes compared to the male opponents (Tekle, 2018). In a research conducted on anxiety,
behaviors explicate that a proportion of 45.7% population with a major depressive disorder had
one or more lifetime anxiety disorders (Kessler, 2015). On the other hand, Scott. et.al. 2018, a
mental disorder can be present in one’s life especially if there are past traumatizing events in the
individual. These traumatizing events cause post-traumatic stress disorder amongst the victims
(Scott, 2018). McLaughlin, et .al 2018 in her journal, explicates that adverse occurrences amongst
the children tend to yield the post-traumatic stress disorders that amongst children. These adverse
occurrences include the parent psychopathology, neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse
(McLaughlin, 2017).
Ideally, post-traumatic stress disorder as one of the common mental health disorder has
been considered to be more prevalent among the younger age group, females, late marriage, low
level of education, economic disadvantage and unemployment. Of these population with such
mental disorder, only a half of them had taken the step seeking help and treatment options (Koenen,
2017). Pedrelli explains the college attendance is a stressful transition for most students since most
of them have to deal with the separation, cope to the academic pressure and some of them have to
respond to the family needs. With such exposure, a vast number of these students end up having
meant health issues or substance use or even exacerbation of their symptoms (Pedrelli, 2015).
The transition to the university is not easy and calls for proper guidance of the student in
the right mental health services. He explains that despite the high number of overwhelming
feelings of joining college, some of the students experience the transition period a trying session.
In his article, he explicates that an 87% proportion of first-year students have difficulty in adapting
social aspects in college and the academic life. (Upfront, 2013). Most students who have been in
the university speak of the depressive and anxious feelings that they have after transiting to the
university. These feelings make them slip in their academic performance and lose the sense of
having a future which yield in higher rate of human resource in the corporate world (Zivin, 2009).
Synthesis and Integration
Mental disorders
Mental problems are among the main health problems that face most students in schools.
This is a medical condition that affects the central nervous system all the way to the brain. Different
students in universities tend to be vulnerable in this issue from the kind of stress that they acquire
from their studies and things that they do regularly. This problem has seen many institutions such
as education centers come up with counseling activities and education of the students. Classes have
been used to educate students on early signs of depression; this makes them to be in the best
position of avoiding such disorder. However, the process requires mutual agreement by the
members of the public to participate in preventing this problem. This will help in avoiding issues
that come out of mental illness such as sexual assault (Scott p. 160), learning disabilities among
others (Assari et. al) This paper will be effective in proving the effect that will be derived from the
awareness initiative among university students.
Students in universities are always prone to stress that is derived from exams and normal
learning lessons. Technical classes require students to be so serious in class with high levels of
concentration; this makes some of them to feel that it is stressful to be in such classes. This has
been the main cause of students shifting to the kind of life that includes substance use. It is the role
of university planning teams to consider ways to deal with this issue; exams should be moderated
in a way and friendly so as to avoid cases of anxiety derived from exams in such universities
(Brown & June S).
When students move out of high school and into universities, they are exposed to the world,
this makes them to face problems of fighting for their own survival, this poses a stressful kind of
life to them. Some students may feel neglected by their parents, thus they engage in activities such
as prostitution in a mission of making money, it is in this that more stressful life is achieved by
them, most of them acquire infections that are transmitted sexually; which discourages life. This
calls for the universities to put down many measures which can be effective in preventing mental
Health disorders can be derived from a thought in someone that makes him or her to think
that life is not of favor to him or her. The universities and parents should work towards preventing
students from thinking negatively about their lives, positive thoughts can be effective in preventing
issues of bipolar disorders and suicide. Many students kill themselves because of thinking
negatively about life, parents are also required to constantly advice their children about life
(Kessler, p. 212). Many students in universities face problems of economic disabilities, but it is
the matter that should be solved by the parents talking to their children so as to make them
understand their condition.
In conclusion, the issue of neglect, the issue of vulnerability and economic inabilities are
among the common causes of stress among the youths. However, school regulations are important
but should be considerate in the way that they are made and implemented. It is the role of everyone
around a student to work towards clearing the issue of mental illness which has been increasing in
most universities, problems are always bound to take place, but it is the role of everyone to identify
them and prevent them. This may require all professionals such as psychotherapists and councilors
to work together in improving public awareness and a solution will accomplished.
Assari, S., & Moghani Lankarani, M. (2018). Violence Exposure and Mental Health of College
Students in the United States. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 8(6), 53.
Brown, June S. L. (2018). Student mental health: some answers and more questions. Journal of
Mental Health Volume 27(London). doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2018.1470319
CLINE, T. (2007). Mental health. Issues in Science and Technology, 23(3), 18-20.
Kessler, R. S.-H. (2015). Anxious and non-anxious major depressive disorder in the World
Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Epidemiology and Psychiatric
Sciences, 24(3), , 210-226.
Koenen, K. R. (2017). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the World Mental Health Surveys.
Psychological Medicine, 47(13),, 2260-2274.
McLaughlin, K. K. (2017). Childhood adversities and post-traumatic stress disorder: Evidence
for stress sensitisation in the World Mental Health Surveys. British Journal of Psychiatry,
211(5), , 280-288.
Othieno, C. J. (2014). Depression among university students in Kenya: Prevalence and
sociodemographic correlates. Journal of affective disorders, 165,, 120-125.
Pedrelli, P. N. (2015). College Students: Mental Health Problems and Treatment Considerations.
Acad Psychiatry.
Scott, K. K. (2018). Post-traumatic stress disorder associated with sexual assault among women
in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. . Psychological Medicine, 48(1), 155-167.
Tamin, S. K. (2013, June 15). Relevance of mental health issues in university student dropouts.
Occupational medicine, 63(6),, 410-414.
Tekle, A. G. (2018). Mental Health Disorder among Madda Walabu University Students
Southeast. Health Science Journal.
Upfront. (2013, June 7). College students’ mental health is a growing concern, survey finds.
Retrieved from apa.org: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/06/college-students.aspx
Zivin, K. E. (2009, August 16). Persistence of mental health problems and needs in a college
student population. ournal of affective disorders, 117(3),, 180-185.

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