The Complexity Of Mental Health Equity In College Students

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE Mental health is an important aspect to the overall well-being of an individual. However, many people associate negative stigmas with mental health disorders. Corrigan and Watson (2002) discussed that the dual complexity of mental health stigma stems from stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice and produces both public and self-stigma. Mental health and mental health stigma are largely at play on college campuses (Michaels, Corrigan, Kanodia, Buchholz, & Abelson, 2015). College campuses are an interesting case to examine mental health. Students experience stress from professors, homework demands, and peers; and, stress is linked to the development of mental health illness (World Health Organization, 2012). College campuses …show more content…
Health Equity Health equity ensures individuals and groups—especially those who are disparaged—receive the best health care possible (Liburd, Giles, & Jack, 2013). Health equity is closely linked to social justice and the government policies enacted in order to level the opportunities for quality health attainment (Liburd et al., 2013). Leveling opportunities through health equity is not synonymous to health equality. Although equality sounds appropriate, if the services provided to maintain health were equal, then disparaged groups would still fall short. Imagine there are three men trying to reach the top shelf at a grocery store. One man is four feet tall while the other two are five and six feet tall. Each man receives a step-ladder that is eight inches tall—equality. The six-foot man easily reaches the top shelf, and did not need the step-ladder to begin with. He looks around and grabs the least expired box of food …show more content…
Hardy et al. (2013) examined how identity formation in college-aged students influenced psychological well-being, health risk behaviors, and mental health. Students experience large pressures to decide on a major, make decisions without a parent, or choose a career path during college. These challenges encourage students to form an identity of themselves. Researchers showed that students with identity formation ability experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression and identity formation predicted improved mental health later in life (Hardy et al., 2013). This supports the claim that stress is linked to the development of mental health illness (The World Health Organization, 2012). Hardy et al. (2013) controlled for age and gender, which could overlook important factors in mental health development of college students. Instead of controlling these variables, future research could examine these variables in relation to at risk populations. For example, Piccinelli and Wilkinson (2000) did not control for gender and noted how women experience depression at higher rates than men due to their experience with opposing social situations. Furthermore, Fryers, Melzer, and Jenkins (2003) discovered that low education-level, a small number of material possessions, low income, and unemployment are linked to higher rates of mental health. These groups would serve as useful investigation populations to identify

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