Panellists, a study reveals a culture of anxiety at UC Berkeley


In an effort to address the mental health climate at the University of Berkeley, the Berkeley Institute for the Future of American Youth and the Goldman School of Public Policy on Thursday organized a conversation entitled "A Generation under pressure: talk about mental health at the University of Berkeley.

After the publication of preliminary results of a study on mental health conducted by Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Public Policy, Richard Scheffler, Chancellor Carol Christ, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Health Services and the Representative Student of the ASUC Mental Health Commission, Sam Ku, presented campus activities. should do to better help students cope with mental health on the panel.

At the roundtable, Ku explained that anxiety was an integral part of the experience of undergraduate students at the University of Berkeley, citing what she called a culture of "Run down" that promotes the campus. Students compare the little sleep or food they use during their mid-term studies to compete, Ku said.

"It's hard to conceptualize an education in Berkeley nowadays without this academic stress," said Ku.

Christ said that she was "horrified" after talking to a freshman at Bowles Hall, who explained that his teacher had advised students to spend 11 hours in class, 11 hours of classes, 30 minutes exercise and the remaining 30 minutes' eating and friendship. "

At the meeting, Christ pointed out that the campus should be the subject of a "big education project" with teachers to make them more aware of the messages they send to students, which can increase the level of stress students.

Scheffler said he hoped the faculty would be able to think and take into account the stress caused to students during their exchanges with students during office hours. Parents, he said, must also understand that anxiety is not part of the transition from home. Students need the support of their parents, he added.

While Scheffler's study showed that an increase in screen time correlated with anxiety, Ku said people should not "ignore" social media as a cause of anxiety because they can be a tool of expression of society. One way to use social media to combat mental illness is to share empowering content instead of negative experiences in order to rewrite the scenario by saying that constant anxiety is normal.

"The time spent in front of a screen is a symptom – it's not the only problem, and I think the more effort and energy is spent to reduce screen time, though it may sound good, I think its effectiveness is probably limited, "said Nicolette. "Let's see why this symptom exists and use it as part of the diagnosis."

The 2016 study found that in the emergency contraception system, female students, black and white were among the highest percentage of students diagnosed or treated for an anxiety disorder during last 12 months.

In general, the data show that anxiety levels increase as students progress in their academic careers, said Scheffler, 24.9% of fifth-year students and 21.9% of youth diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the last 12 months. He said that one theory that could explain this data is that anxiety increases as junior and senior students start looking for a job or graduate school.

"I hope these figures will put you back in your chair and you will understand how bad the outbreak is," Scheffler told the audience. "I can tell you that nothing I've seen suggests that it slows down at all. In fact, on the contrary, it seems to increase more dramatically. "

Contact Julie Madsen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter to @ Julie_Madsen_.

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