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The Economy Blues February 4, 2009

Posted by yostliketoast in Mental Health.

Papers, exams, and roommates are no longer the largest causes of stress for the typical GW student.  Due to recent events, its far more common to hear complaints about wall street, bail-outs and unemployment rates around campus.  As a public health major, this change in interests fascinated me and led me to question how the economy was affecting the mental health of college students.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find reliable data that polled college student specifically. However, in October, 2008, the World Health Organization reported an increase in mental health illness due to the global financial crisis as people struggle to cope with the stress of poverty and unemployment.

With such an uncertain future, it is understandable that college students are stressed by the economic recession.  Graduating seniors are either entering an increasingly shrinking job market or applying to graduate schools, which are experiencing a record number of applicants. Undergraduates will soon follow.  A large number of students are also facing anxiety and stress due to lay-offs and financial troubles in their immediate families.

Stress can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from headaches to anxiety attacks. Although, the George Washington University Counseling Center has taken no additional measures to address the economic woes of its students, their website does provide several websites that outline stress reduction techniques and money management counseling. The center also provides a twenty-four hour telephone support service for students experiencing a mental health crisis.

As a senior at GW, I understand how hard it is to juggle classes, work, and the prospect of an uncertain future. For my classmates who are experiencing additional stress or anxiety please seek help. Try to relieve your stress using the techniques below, talk to a friend, or call the university counseling center.

Stress Relieving Techniques

  • regular exercise

  • healthy and balanced diet

  • meditation/yoga

  • effective time management

  • enjoying a hobby (listening to music, drawing, etc)

  • self reflection (goal making, journaling, etc)



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