College-Aged Adults Face Less Mental Health Stigma

UWire Affiliate.

WASHINGTON (January 14, 2016) – College-aged adults (age 18-25) have more accepting views of mental health care than other adults, but they still see challenges when it comes to accessing care, according to results of a nationwide poll released today by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). The survey was conducted online among more than 2,000 adults, including 198 age 18-25, on behalf of the Anxiety Depression Association of America, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention by Harris Poll.

“We’re seeing a shift in the stigma of mental health in emerging adults, but until we can improve access to mental health care, it is unlikely that this generation will receive the support and care for a long-term change in mental well-being,” said Anne Marie Albano, PhD, ABPP, a member of ADAA and a child and adolescent psychologist and a professor at Columbia University. “Changes in our health care system have made it possible for them to get services and establish a new tenor for how future generations view mental health care. We must act to ensure this care is delivered.”

A majority of college-aged adults (60 percent) view seeing a mental health professional as a sign of strength, but nearly half see it as something most people cannot afford (46 percent) and one-third (33 percent) see it as inaccessible for most people. This age group, adults 18-25, report higher rates of diagnosed mental disorders than older adults, including anxiety and depression. Additionally, 65 percent of college-aged adults have ever thought  they may have a mental condition.

While the vast majority (90 percent) of college-aged adults recognize that mental disorders can put someone at an increased risk of suicide, they may not fully grasp the risk associated with certain mental disorders. In fact, only 52 percent recognize anxiety disorders as a risk factor for suicide, compared with recognizing the impact that life situations, like bullying and relationships, have on suicide risk (91 percent), and they primarily see suicide as a way to escape pain (61 percent).

“More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable illness such as clinical depression, and often in combination with anxiety or substance use disorders and other treatable mental disorders,” says Mark Pollack, MD, ADAA Past President and Grainger Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center. “Effectively diagnosing and treating anxiety disorders and depression, especially when they occur at the same time, are critical to intervening and reducing suicide crises.”

The survey, conducted in August 2015, assessed perceptions about mental health and suicide awareness. The overwhelming majority of college-aged adults (96 percent) reported that they would take action if someone close to them was thinking about suicide; however, 57 percent admit that something might stop them from trying to help, compared to 43 percent of older adults (those age 26+), because they were fearful that:

– They would make them feel worse (39 percent of college-aged adults vs. 23 percent of older adults);

– There may be nothing to could do to help (27 percent vs. 17 percent); and

– Talking about it might make the person attempt suicide (25 percent vs. 14 percent).

Early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment of mental disorders are critical to preventing suicide. Mental disorders are treatable, and the vast majority of people can be helped with professional care. Although treatment is individualized, several standard approaches have proved effective.

– Therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT), involve people in their own recovery and provides a sense of control.

– Medication, including serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta blockers and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, is a proven treatment.

– Combination therapy, which includes behavioral therapy and medications, is also a proven treatment for many.

– Complementary and alternative treatments, like stress and relaxation techniques, meditation and yoga, are sometimes used to treat anxiety and depressive disorders alongside or instead of conventional treatments.

College-aged adults seeking help have many options:

– Go to your campus health or counseling center.

– Find a mental health professional near you.

– Contact your health insurance provider to understand treatment options covered under your plan.

– Have a conversation with friend.

– Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time.

Visit www.adaa.org for more information on identifying the symptoms of anxiety and depression and the warning signs and risks of suicide.

Methodology

The Mental Health and Suicide Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of ADAA, AFSP, and NAASP between August 10-12, 2015, among 2,020 adults ages 18+, among which 198 are age 18-25. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, and education where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of U.S. adults. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Poll panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For subgroup sample sizes, please contact Tamara Moore.

About the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and PTSD through education, training, and research. Our mission focuses on improving quality of life for children and adults affected with these disorders. ADAA improves patient outcomes by promoting scientific innovation, encouraging translation and implementation of research into practice, providing continuing education of evidence-based treatments across disciplines and increasing public knowledge about how to find effective treatment.

Media Contact

Tamara Moore

(202) 745-5114

tmoore@gymr.com

UWire, a college news and distribution service based in Chicago and started in 1994, serves more than 600 college news partners across the U.S. More information and additional releases are available at UWire.com.

College, Sex, Title IX & the Missing 85%

UWire Affiliate.

Are Colleges and Universities Neglecting 85% of Potential Unwelcome Sexual Encounter Title IX Violations?

Likely YES they are. Here is the how and the why.

More than 85% of unwelcome and unwanted sexual encounters go unreported according to the major surveys done on college campuses in 2015 85%. Not that these encounters did not occur, not that these encounters were consensual, not that these encounters were okay … they were UNREPORTED.

This statistic matches the most recent data showing that 90% of all colleges and universities reported ZERO sexual assaults in 2014 under the terms of the Clery Act.

Unwelcome and unwanted sexual encounters are potential violations of Title IX whether or NOT they get reported. Colleges and universities are required to address ALL such encounters that have the potential to significantly interfere with a student’s access to educational opportunities.

The existing scope of efforts in prevention and dealing with unwanted sexual encounters is quite broad. These include education sessions, awareness communications, and victim counseling. What these efforts omit is two-fold: 1) programs directly aimed at the 85% of victims who are non-reporting and 2) prevention efforts that are both ongoing and a part of the daily life of the typical student. Central to these omissions is the idea that participants in unwanted and unwelcome encounters need to identify themselves as victims. If a participant fails to identify as a victim, then the existing system all too often fails to provide ANY meaningful help.

The 85% are entitled to help. They are entitled to the support which enables them to access educational opportunities without fear or paralyzing confusion. The existing system needs to change.

The 85% are NOT just like the 15% who do report. By definition, the simple fact that almost 9 out of 10 of all who experience unwelcome and unwanted behavior do not report means that there is something DIFFERENT going on with that 85%. It is likely that the key difference comes down to the perception of the label of “victim” and all that is associated with it.

As noted in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, many in the 85% feel a degree of co-responsibility for bad choices made, communications that either did not occur or instead mis-occurred, thus creating contexts that gave rise to misunderstandings and miscommunications. There is an unwillingness to be explicit and clear about the word “No.” Co-responsibility is the opposite of victimhood. When there is or was an absence of physical coercion, co-responsibility is more likely than victimhood.

The old societal standard of “no means no” is rooted in the idea that sexual relations are between a powerful male and a powerless female. This power relationship was not between two people of co-equal free will. Instead it was analogous to a chattel relationship – in effect, one of “property.” The right to say “no” was then rooted in society drawing limits regarding what the powerful could do “to” his property. By definition, the assertion of physical coercion is itself an expression of a chattel relation – and it correctly identifies “victims” and “predators” or “perpetrators.” BUT, as EVERY study has shown, most unwanted and unwelcome sexual encounters do NOT involve physical coercion.

When resources and programs are conditioned upon the use of a label like “victim,” that label gains significance. Those who feel a degree of co-responsibility – the silent 85% – are quite often repulsed by the term “victim” – a label that denies them both agency and freedom. To be a victim is to be on the receiving end of an expression of power in what seems to be a chattel relation – one where notions of ownership, privilege, and property take precedence over free will, personal choice, and equality. If one believes that sexual encounters are to be governed by licensure instead of chattel, then one is asserting that BOTH parties need to be actively involved in granting consent and in fulfilling the pre-conditions to the license.

Agency — free will — is a troubling precondition. If one believes that consent can be withdrawn at any time, then one must examine why aggressive/inappropriate and unwelcome behaviors continued after such consent was withdrawn. The granting of consent is the responsibility of both parties so that they need to communicate clearly, render the boundaries of the “license grant” clearly, and enforce violations.

Victimhood denies the possibility of agency and co-responsibility. With victimhood, all of the responsibility is held by the privileged holder of chattel rights. It is the failure to “look out for the welfare of the less privileged” that makes the less privileged a victim. Many in the 85% would argue that the relationship with the other party was not chattel and unilateral but that it was bi-lateral so that it was they who had the sole or at least shared responsibility for safeguarding their own interest. If they were a “victim,” it was as a victim to their own errors, misjudgments, passions, or lack of control – NOT the result of the abuse of privilege by a chattel holder.

These views are NOT now politically correct BUT THEY SHOULD BE. It makes no sense that colleges’ education efforts are focused more on getting men to agree that “rape is bad — so do not rape,” rather than on “if you find yourself in an uncomfortable or threatening position here is how you might disengage” that is directed at BOTH sexes.

In an age that proclaims the equality of the sexes, in teaching about the role of consent in sexual encounters why are college students taught lessons with their roots in chattel instead of licensure? – in the failure of the noblesse oblige of the “perpetrator” instead of the co-responsibility of equal participants? The vast majority of students on any given campus do not see themselves as even having the possibility of being a sexual predator – thus how are they expected to resonate with educational programs whose main lesson is “don’t predate?”

Where are the tools designed to help all students move away from unwelcome and unwanted sexual encounters and joining either the 85% and the 15%? Where are the props which students need to help cue in appropriate behaviors to prevent such encounters? How are the co-responsible supposed to get counselling about being more responsible – when available counselling is more focused on dealing with being a victim and better exploration of victim’s rights? Prevention efforts which fail to deal with co-responsibility are band aids at best and moral failures at worst.

What colleges and universities are NOT doing is taking steps to prompt discussions amongst prospective partners before a sexual encounter. To speak of “yes means yes” WITHOUT an “only” in front is to broadcast a meaningless platitude. To speak of consent presented in the context of chattel instead of licensure is to degrade and disrespect one if not both prospective partners before they even contemplate a relationship. To fail to provide safe zones for discussion where the co-responsible can explore better ways to respond and react – responsibly – throughout an encounter, is to deny students the very education this sordid topic can best provide them.

America’s colleges and universities are failing in their Title IX responses because those responses fail to take into consideration that the overwhelming number of students don’t think of themselves as either predators or as victims.

Full disclosure my institute produces mobile phone apps to address these issues. We began with a focus on co-responsibility and licensure, and our suite of apps is the result.

So yes, I and my organization are biased. But for effective protection against potential Title IX liability it is time for college and universities to admit that the approach of “don’t rape” and “don’t be a victim” is NOT working – despite the increased emphasis on education and the increased awareness of sexual assault. MOST unwanted and unwelcome sexual encounters involve TWO unhappy people not just one. MOST involve a lack of clarity about boundaries and the absence of well-articulated licensure. MOST unwanted and unwelcome sexual encounters do NOT involve physical coercion. MOST do involve alcohol and other “rationality impairing” substances. Title IX efforts need to embrace these realities, not ignore them.

The 85% are entitled to a safe campus. They are entitled to refuse the label of “victim.” They are entitled to the help they need to learn and grow from what happened. And a safe campus will minimize future occurrences of unwelcome and unwanted sexual encounters that have the potential to significantly interfere with a student’s access to educational opportunities.

Title IX was supposed to ensure that all students receive opportunities to learn and grow. It is time our institutions of higher education stepped up to their responsibilities and provided such opportunities.

Not all unwanted and unwelcome encounters rise to the label “assault” nor do they involve only predators or victims. These other experiences are the world of the 85%. Let’s serve them too.

Please visit http://protectequalsrespect.com for more information. Please email lissack@isce.edu to request a free demo of the app suite.

UWire, a college news and distribution service based in Chicago and started in 1994, serves more than 600 college news partners across the U.S. More information and additional releases are available at UWire.com.

Stalled campus concealed carry bill still sparks debate

Res Life Director opposes change; students offer mixed views

BY JALEN PERRY

perry039@rangers.uwp.edu

A state bill proposed in October would allow anyone with a conceal carry license to bring their guns into all any college in the state, including all UW System schools. State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced in late December that he doubted the bill would see passage by the legislature before the end of their session in February.

Whether the Capitol takes action on the bill in the coming weeks or months, reactions at Parkside appear mixed.

Campus safety leadership remains tight-lipped, while officials from Residence Life oppose the bill, citing safety concerns. But two students who disagree about whether the proposed legislation should be adopted both think it would increase their safety if an active shooter situation ever came to campus.

Weapons now prohibited

State law currently allows people with conceal carry permits to walk around campuses with their weapons, but it leaves the decision up to the school whether to ban weapons inside of their buildings.

Chief of Police James Heller declined to offer his opinion about the proposed legislation in an email interview, but he pointed to the standing orthodoxy of Policy 85, UW-Parkside Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Policy.

That policy highlights obvious things such as no firearms/weapons in buildings or by employees, with the exception of law enforcement, no weapons in residence halls, at special events or in official UW-P vehicles.

Parkside administrators have taken precautionary measures, posting “Weapons Prohibited” signs on mostly all entrances.

If the proposed bill passes, it would take the power completely out of their hands and such signs would face removal.

Problems for Campus Residents

Joe Berthiaume, Director of Housing and Residence Life, strongly opposes allowing guns or any concealed weapon inside any of campus buildings.

“I think it is a horrible bill, and I cannot envision any possible advantages to allowing guns on campus,” Berthiaume said. “From a housing perspective, there are many disadvantages.”

According to Berthiaume, potential problems with allowing guns to enter living halls begin with storage of the guns in the rooms, which may pose major issues for roommates, students with anxiety and strong emotional disdain for weapons. They would be knowingly exposed to a perceived threat by their neighbors or accidental discharge of a weapon inside of a room.

Also, Berthiaume said, the presence of alcohol may affect how people deal with their weapons. Resident advisers could also face the danger of trying to discipline an unruly student who has a gun.

Current policy for residents facing an active shooter assume that weapons are not allowed inside the building, according to Berthiaume. Residence Life staff would adhere to the policy on the campus website and serve as second responders.

“While they [police] are resolving the incident, Res Life would be involved with follow-up with regards to emotional and anxiety support for students, taking care of parents phone calls to the school,” Berthiaume said. He stressed that his main goal each year is to make sure students graduate and live in as safe an environment as possible.

Opposing views among students

The student body appears torn on the issue, exhibiting stark opposition of the general public on gun control issues.

“[The proposed bill] doesn’t bother me at all,” said David Zapp, a junior. “The people who would be concealed carrying are probably not the people who are going to shoot up the school, so it wouldn’t bother me at all.”

While Zapp expressed confidence about allowing concealed weapons into school buildings and classroom, junior Antoine Torrence had a different perspective.

“I do not think it’s necessary,” Torrence said. “It’s actually stupid to let them do that, especially inside the building.”

However, both agreed that, in an active shooter scenario, they’d feel more comfortable knowing either they or someone nearby had a gun to stop the shooter.

Student Government takes stance.

Parkside Student Government President, Hannah Kowalczyk says that the organization is aware of the proposed bill and have taken the steps to inform themselves further.

“Upon the announcement of the possible change in legislature PSG asked for Chief Heller to come to one of our meetings and give us a breakdown of the campus safety procedures already in place, as well as how this change in legislature would affect everyone on campus, but more specifically us as students.”

To get the pulse of the school, Hannah, as well as other students within the student government, went out to see what students had to say.

“PSG went in search of the student bodies opinion on the issue.  We spent a total of three days on the bridge and in the Brickstone surveying students. In the survey we were looking for if the student were for or against the bill, and their reasoning behind their answer.”

Once PSG tallied up their results, it was clear which side the student body was on in regards to the bill.

“After totaling the survey results we sent a letter urging our stance, as a student body, against the passing of the proposed bill.  Along with this letter we sent the surveys the students had filled out as well, this included students opinions both for and against the bill.”

Millennials In the Red – Does Your Financial Knowledge Add Up?

Shannon Schuyler, UWire Affiliate.

Principal, Chief Purpose Officer and Corporate Responsibility Leader at PwC and President of PwC Charitable Foundation

My young colleague Gabi has a great career ahead. She graduated from a first-rate university last year with a double major and double minor in high demand fields. She interned with PwC starting in her second year of college, taking on progressively sophisticated roles each summer, and transitioned to working with us as an associate immediately after graduation. Gabi’s a smart, competent young adult who has managed many challenges successfully. She immigrated to the United States from Chile with her parents and older sister when she was seven. But like most of her peers—millennials who will comprise more than 75 percent of the workforce by 2025—Gabi is worried about money.

Gabi is a typical millennial in many ways. She graduated from college with long-term debt (student loans and a car payment) and experiences considerable stress around meeting monthly expenses. Something else Gabi has in common with her peers—she received very little financial education (one week in a high school math class) before choosing to study accounting in college.

Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history. But they face greater economic challenges than previous generations and are already financially fragile. A study our firm released this month, Millennials & Financial Literacy—The Struggle with Personal Finance, conducted by The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University with the support of PwC, found that students like Gabi aren’t alone. In fact, a wide majority of millennials are struggling to understand fundamental financial concepts and manage their debt. Among the findings:

– Only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial knowledge.

– The majority of millennials carry long-term debt. 55% of college graduates have student loans, including 34% of young adults with annual incomes of more than $75,000.

– More than half of millennials carried over a credit card balance in the last 12 months and 45% make only minimum monthly payments.

– Millennials are unprepared to weather a shock. Nearly half say they could not come up with $2,000 within the next month to meet an unexpected need.

GenFKD-Infographic

Despite the fact that millennials are facing these issues in large numbers, the study found that they are afraid to ask for help. In fact, a startling few (27%) seek professional financial advice. Financial literacy is such a pervasive issue for this generation, and it’s important to know that it’s okay to ask for help.

The gap is widening between the amount of financial responsibility given to young Americans and their demonstrated ability to manage personal finances. It’s time to reduce that gap. Young people must be empowered to make smart financial decisions, because the economic stability and success of our businesses and communities depends on their choices.

In 2012, my firm launched its Earn Your Future (EYF) commitment focused on helping young people develop critical financial skills and providing educators with resources and training to teach financial literacy. In 2015, we extended our commitment, now totaling $190 million. We don’t have all the answers, and our efforts will continue to evolve. Still, I am optimistic. A few months ago, I met with an exuberant group of third-and-fourth graders participating in an EYF program. I asked if they thought it was better to spend on a toy or a game that they wanted now or to save for the future. In unison they shouted “save!” These kids have something in common with Gabi.

Unlike many of her peers (perhaps because she studied finance in college or because of her family’s experience), Gabi is saving rather than spending—for now, she has chosen to live at home with her parents in order to pay off her student loans more quickly—and she is learning about ways to boost her credit score. She also reaps benefits from working at PwC, which this past year announced a student loan pay down program to help reduce student loan burden. But all adults, regardless of education or employer, should be able to manage their personal finances. Expanded access to financial education can bring powerful improvements in financial literacy and financial stability for the next generation of Americans.

For more information on millennials and financial literacy, visit pwc.com/us/millennialsfinlit.

 

Media Contact

Sarah Tropiano

PwC

(703) 307-3823

sarah.b.tropiano@pwc.com

UWire, a college news and distribution service based in Chicago and started in 1994, serves more than 600 college news partners across the U.S. More information and additional releases are available at UWire.com.