In the psychiatric world, many have begun to focus on college students and their mental health. One study done by Healthy Minds and shared via press release by the American Psychiatric Association surveyed 150,000 college students over a span of 10 years.
The results are promising for these college students. The study found a decrease in mental health stigma within the student body. The survey had found increased treatment for students, which in turn lead to more mental health diagnoses. However, there is a shadow in the data, thoughts of suicide have increased within the span of the study.
Then COVID-19 happened, creating unprecedented mental health concerns. In another study by healthy minds, over two-thousand students were surveyed on the impact of COVID on their mental health and the data was grim.
Healthy Minds found that 80% of the students surveyed reported that COVID had negatively impacted their mental health. 91% felt stress or anxiety and most of the students felt disappointment, sadness, loneliness or isolation.
But what about a specific segment of the student body that is under mental duress? Resident assistants face the challenge of difficult circumstances, on top of a heavy workload and a full-time class schedule according to an article done by the University Press out of Florida Atlantic University.
The article points out that RAs are unable to leave their work at the workplace. They live in the same space in which they work. Many feel like they are not “off duty”.
Spencer Cox, a resident assistant at Ball State University, agrees that the job can cause stress for those within the position.
Cox does believe that the stress of being a resident assistant is overlooked by the university. He has noticed that the stress of the job has caused many to quit, a trend that is glossed over by other departments.
He does mention that RAs do have the added advantage of talking about problems with fellow hall staff.
“The hall directors are a little more available to us,” said Cox.
However, BSU resident assistants do not receive additional resources to deal with the extra burden placed upon them.
” RA’s basically have the same exact resources as every other student that lives on campus,” said Cox.
The Ball State Counseling Center does offer a variety of services for all who attend the university. RAs and students alike can take advantage of individual and group counseling along with a recently introduced relaxation room.