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Depression in University Students. Health, Medicine, Nursing Essay (Essay Sample)


the task was about researching on the factors that affect the manner in which students with depression access counselling services. the sample is about the factors that affect how university students under depression access counselling services either within the university or outside.


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Undergraduate students have always been looked at as the future leaders and the holders of ‘tomorrow’. For this reason, these students, worldwide, have been expected to be at pace with the ever-growing knowledge and technology so that they will better impact on the future. As a result, these expectations, together with their academic workloads, are resulting in depression from the side of these students. Moreover, the academic workload has been a reason as to why most of these students have short hours of sleep. The factor has also been linked to depression by researchers. Due to the prevalence in depression among the university students in Britain, there exist some elements that force these students to seek counselling from their university counsellors. The purpose of the paper, therefore, is to assess the factors which push depressed university students to find counselling services in their universities.
Counselling is necessary for students as it acts as a therapy whereby the affected person, in this case, the student, talks to a counsellor to help him or her deal with the psychology-related issues (Hough, 2014). However, it has been established that for a student to look for a counsellor at the university, he or she must be compelled by some factors behind the depression state (Pescosolido, 2013, p. 3). Moreover, the same factors can make these students afraid of reporting their issue and being assisted by the relevant counsellors in the university. As elaborated by Ibrahim, Kelly, & Glazebrook, (2013, p. 1492), Mental health stigma, mental health literacy, financial stress, and academic stress are the factors that affect how university students receive counselling services.
Mental Illness Stigma
Most students find it difficult to share their mental issues with their peers (Thorley, 2017). According to Thorley (2017), male students find it difficult to express their challenges in terms of mental health depression as compared to female students. These results depict what has been gathered in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland universities. The main reason, according to Clement et al., (2015, p. 12), is that these students fear the negativity which they will be linked to by other after realizing that they are mentally challenged. They want to keep their public figure with their peers. Therefore, although they are being affected psychologically, they find it better to remain silent and suffer the consequences of mental health problems.
In universities, Crowe, Averett, & Glass, (2016, p. 63) states that stigma sets in when students define another by the illness, they are undergoing rather than who they are in that university. Stigma is a double tragedy, especially for depressed students as it makes their situation worse instead of helping them to recover (Mullen, & Crowe, (2017, p. 403). Mental illness stigma is a primary barrier that hinders university students from accessing counselling services in the universities (Stanton, 2014, p. 136). The stigma is not only a challenge to these students towards accessing university-based counselling services, but also the external ones (Furnham, Cook, Martin, & Batey, 2011).
Furnham et al., (2011) give an insight into mental illness stigma by elaborating how students cope with the issue to fit in a certain class of students at the university. The source claims that "Most university students will not be comfortable being called 'a depressed student'. To avoid this, they will try to cover it up, although it affects their interaction and learning" (Furnham et al., 2011). Furthermore, Darzi (2018) claims that the stigma due to mental health problem can be both public stigma or self-stigma. Public stigma, according to Pescosolido (2013), is a misinformed perception of mental illness, especially by the public regarding the people who have the challenge. For example, the public may perceive seeking help on mental issues as unnecessary and an act that is not accepted in society. As can be illustrated by this example, students with the challenge will, therefore, find it difficult to seek therapy.
Students also stigmatize themselves in situations where they are mentally challenged (Clement et al., 2015, p. 21). It is at this point that the students will be said to be undergoing internalized stigma. Such type of stigmatization affects the self- esteem of the students as he or she will be feeling less-worth as compared to other students (Cifti, Jones, & Corrigan, 2012, p. 19). The reason for this type of stigma is that the student will have perceived the public stigma to be true. Therefore, the impact of this is that he or she will internalize the perception by friends on mental health challenges. As a result, the student will feel comfortable trying to handle the issue at a personal level (Stanton, 2014, p. 133). For this reason, the students get affected even more, which in turn leads to depression.
According to the Mental Health Foundation (2019), mental health care has been enhanced to cater for the increasing cases of mental health problems. Although the sector has been enhanced to cater for this challenge in the society, England 2018,) alludes that the increasing rate of mental health challenges amongst the university students is linked to the growing challenges around the world. Students have more than their academic work to worry about.
Mental Health Literacy
Students have been made to understand several things regarding mental health disorders (Gunnell, Caul, Appleby, John, & Hawton, 2020, p. 116). University students are driven by what they know and believe about mental disorders (Hunt, Wei, & Kutcher, 2019, p. 537). From these pieces of knowledge, they, therefore, decide how to recognize, manage, and prevent issues related to mental health. Therefore, as Hunt et al., (2019, p. 537) posits, students will treat mental health disorders based on the knowledge they have about it, this, therefore, depicts the impacts of mental health literacy on how students access counselling services at the university.
Mental health literacy is essential, especially for maintaining a healthy lifestyle (McLafferty et al., 2019, p. 294). El Ansari, Sebena, & Stock (2014, p. 2013) alludes that even though mental health literacy is essential, many people are still misinformed in terms of their mental health issues. Among these people are university students who are always confused in case of a mental disorder. They are not well-informed on the decision they are supposed to take in case of such occurrences (McLoud, & Bann, 2019, p. 981).
People with low health literacy are at risk of both physical and mental diseases (Kotera, Green, & Sheffield, 2018, p. 353). Davies (2015) alludes that people, especially students who are not well-informed about mental disorders, will not know what to do in case they are in such conditions. Furthermore, people with high mental literacy skills will understand their mental situations immediately they are faced with a disorder (Broglia, Millings, & Barkham, 2017). As a result, the source posits that they will be in a position to take the right action based on the knowledge they have on mental health disorders.
Mental health-literate people to obtain and utilize information and services that promote and maintain good mental health (Ibrahim et al., 2019, p. 3). Based on this understanding, it is clear that the degree to which people obtain, process, and understand basic health information is necessary at making the appropriate decision. Therefore, Russell et al., (2019, p 58) state that students who are not literate in line with mental health will not take the initiative to seek a counsellor at the university in case he or she is faced with depression or any other mental problem. Such students are deemed to rely on false information regarding the situation, which in turn affects their well-beings even more (Farrer et al., 2019, p. 8).

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