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Anxiety on campus | Sunday

Of course, there have been times when César (18) has had to talk to someone.

Sit in the forest of letters at National University of San Marcos does not want to go into details, but he realizes that in these almost three years of study there have been occasions when the concern for classes and some personal things – family , love – overwhelmed him so much that he took away his appetite and didn't let him sleep. [19659002] Talk to a friend? Don't even think about it. For many young people like him, it is embarrassing to tell about their personal concerns. What can someone your age say that you feel better?

César knows that there is a psychology office in the [FacultyofPsychology but it has never gone. It's not a surprise. Dean of the Faculty, Alberto Quintana says that the majority of patients who go are external: only 1

5% are students or teachers. And that is because – he explains – the psychologists who go to the office are professors or students in recent years, and the children are worried that their problems will spread in society.

That's why César and other young Sanmarquinos have gotten pretty good that the government on Tuesday, 15, inaugurated a university of mental health on the old dean's campus.

It is the first of its kind, but the Minister of Health, Zulema Tomas says there will be at least 22 more. The next one will be open at National University of Engineering (UNI) .

It's really no less news, as some characters have suggested on social networks. It is a policy that can have a large and positive impact on young people. And for the simple reason that socio-emotional disorders are found in Peruvian university campuses.


Last July, psychologist PUCP Lesly Martínez presented an interesting dissertation on the relationship between academic stress and adjustment to university life among students from three regions in the country Martínez revealed that 87% of college students suffer from academic stress. Almost nine out of ten. 36% experience it at a medium level, 31% at a medium to high level and 10% at a high level.

The main causes of this stress are teacher evaluations (exams, essays, research essays, etc.), homework and workload and prior to the course evaluations .

In her dissertation, Martínez cites another study from 2001, which observed that students in the first years are more stressed than the former. Without a doubt, the arrival of a new environment, the new teaching methods and of course the pressure to find a place and socialize are factors that affect your emotional and mental state.

The most serious thing is that stress, and the anxiety that usually accompanies it can drive the student to leave school.

It is not uncommon. In Peru, about 30% of college students drop out of their careers for a variety of reasons, according to a study by World Bank conducted in 2018.

One of these causes is their mismatch of university life, a fact that – according to Martínez's thesis – is strongly linked to academic stress.

In Colombia university outcomes reached 45% in 2008, as a result, among other factors, of psychological and emotional problems. At that time, the government took action on the issue and after implementing strategies to detect and manage mental health of students, they managed to reduce the dropout rate to 20%.

Psychological problems and lapses are also a concern of the Peruvian government. For this reason, this year, through the Ministries of Health and Education he implemented a series of measures to preserve the mental health of university students in the country.


Sanmarquinos students who go to the psychology office at the Faculty of Psychology have more or less the same problems, says Dean Dean Albertona.

One of them is sleep disorders. The pressure, the academic overload, reveals that they are doing their homework, studying or simply because they cannot sleep. Then, during the day, they fall asleep.

They also arrive with anxiety and also with depression. The most worrying thing – says Quintana – is that these socioemotional disorders trigger unhealthy behaviors. Consumption of substances, for example alcohol, for example. And video game addiction.

In 2018, Ministry of Education (Minedu) organized a series of talks with more than 300 students from 11 public universities.

During these meetings, young people pointed out that universities should have spaces that promote mental health and prevent emissions.

El Minedu and Ministry of Health (Minsa) noted this and went to work. [19659002] One of the first things Minedu did was to ask his teachers and students for mental health information from the 144 universities in the country. They responded 135.

85% of these schools revealed that they had identified mental health problems among members of their community . The most common were anxiety (82%), depression and stress (79%), violence (52%), consumption of psychoactive substances (48%), eating disorders (37%) and suicidal behavior (35%).

Jorge Mori Director of Directorate-General for Higher Education (Digesu) says that with these baselines Minedu and Minsa developed a series of guidelines for mental health care at universities.

The first is that all the study houses should create community support networks and develop awareness campaigns on these issues.

Second, the authorities should encourage the practice of healthy behaviors. . One of them is sleep care. Jorge Mori emphasizes: no remark should lie about the person's health .

– Academic achievement is something important, but neither health nor self-esteem should depend on a note – he says. [19659002] The third guideline is that universities must conduct internal studies to detect risk factors and prevent problems. The head of Digesu cites as an example of a risk factor students from provinces to universities in the capital, where they live alone and where they have to adapt to new habits and ways of learning .

– Sometimes there are strong cultural conflicts. What does the university do with depression or anxiety caused by these shocks? – He says

The fourth guideline is the creation of spaces to fully and quickly take care of mental health. This is where the creation of university centers for mental health, like the one opened in San Marcos, fits in.

Joint Mental Health Center is part of a new approach to mental health that began in the government of Ollanta Humala and that the administrations of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Martín Vizcarra have been able to continue

From now on they will also be at the universities. In a country where there are more than 6 million people with mental disorders and only 20% receive treatment, this is good news.

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