The Problem

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Student Well-Being


Mental and behavioral health problems, already very common among college students, have been on the rise in recent years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.1

Research indicates the pandemic has rapidly exacerbated these issues.2

80% of college students that say the pandemic negatively impacted their mental health.3

1 Padrelli, P., Nyer, M., Yeung, A., Zulauf, C., & Wilens, T. (2015) College Students: Mental Health Problems and Treatment Considerations. Acad Psychiatry. 2015 Oct; 39(5): 503-511.

2 Blanco C, et al. Mental health of college students and their non-college-attending peers: Results from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(12):1429–37. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

3 Gallagher R, Gill AM, Sysko HB. National Survey of Counseling Directors, 2000. Alexandria: International Association of Counseling Centers, Inc; 2000. [Google Scholar]

Pandemic Comparison

Most Common Mental & Behavioral Health Issues


Alcohol Abuse


Eating Disorder


Suicidal Ideation

Focus on Anxiety & Depression


Anxiety 11.9%
60% reported ‘overwhelming anxiety’

Depression 7.9%
40% reported ‘so depressed I had difficulty functioning’

Spotlight: Students at Increased Risk




Below average income

Fair or poor health

Spend 1/3 or more of their day on screens

When Mental & Behavioral Health Issues Go Untreated

Resulting Impacts:

  • Lower student engagement, satisfaction
  • Worsening performance/grades
  • Increasing drop-out rates
  • Depression, suicides
  • Untreated issues can lead to more serious and costly health issues

Campus Impacts

80% of college students say the COVID pandemic negatively impacted their mental health

After COVID, 39% of all college students report having some form of mental illness or mental health issue

33% of those diagnosed with depression
end up dropping out

20% of those who dropped out would have stayed in school if proper treatment had been provided

At the average undergraduate enrollment of 6,445 students, that means:

2,514 students will report some form of mental illness
or mental health issue

193 will drop out because
of depression

42 dropouts would have stayed in school
if they had proper treatment

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