What’s Happens to Student Mental Health Over the Summer?

It’s May…it’s crunch time. Finals are just around the corner and students can almost taste the freedom of summer. Administrators hold their breath in hopes that students can navigate the papers, tests, and pressures without too much damage on the way to summer until campus breathes a sigh of relief.

But, is summer really all that it’s cracked up to be? Is summer that great release from pressure and stress that people think it is? Our data suggestions that for some students…it’s not.

How do we know? We are actively tracking the mental health of around 2,800 users, most of them college students.

Marbles is an iOS and android app that helps people develop self-awareness by tracking 7 important components of mental and emotional health. Users also can access a healthy support community of peers to discuss mental health 100% troll and stigma free. Here’s how we do it.

We ask users to share some demographic information like their current employer, school or university, gender, age, race, and sexual orientation so we can keep Marbles 100% anonymous.

We then aggregate this data and provide 24/7 access to a visual model of your campuses mental health trends through our Analytics portal.

Reflection data is real-time mental and emotional health data that our users are reporting on a scale of 0–100. The higher the number, the better the user’s mental and emotional health.

In the following example, we examine Reflection data from a public university and a private college located 10 miles a part in the Midwest.

Figure 1 below displays the real-time mental health trends of the large public university which may be what you expected, reflection scores increase over summer (blue box represents the summer and students report feeling better).

Figure 1: Public University’s real-time well-being trends

However, let’s examine Figure 2, which displays the students’ Reflection scores at the private college.

As you can see, if you go to this private school, summer may not be so hot!

Figure 2: Private University’s real-time well-being trends

Suddenly, summer doesn’t seem like the great, stress-free time for students that everyone thinks it is!

In fact, for this private college, summer demonstrates some of the lowest Reflection scores reported all year, right on par with the beginning of December when the fall semester stress peaks.

Why are students from this private school noticing 30 to 50% lower Reflection scores than their public school counterparts over the summer?
I have a few hypotheses…but let’s not go there.

The important thing is that this could be a huge opportunity for this private college to improve their student’s lives, experience, and performance when their students are vulnerable.

Often times, it’s what we don’t know that hurts us the most, Marbles can help enlighten your students, faculty, and staff to real-time mental and emotional trends on campus so you can improve health outreach, support, engagement, and promotion efforts.

Want to improve your support options for students?

Get into contact with us (adam@reptech.io) and let’s see how we can collaborate to improve the mental and emotional health support system for your campus!

Thank you,

-Adam (adam@reptech.io)

p.s. Adam’s TEDxtalk: Choices, Suicide, and Apple Cores

p.s.s. We are in the process of running a University-sponsored academic study about the effectiveness of Marblesapp on reducing student depression and anxiety. To get involved or hear preliminary results, contact us!

download marbles for free from www.livebeyondthelabel.com
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