Changing the Way We Educate to Prioritize Minority Students' Mental Health and Enhance Their Well-Being Conference

Müller, CC, Kayyali, M, Elzomor, M. (2023). Changing the Way We Educate to Prioritize Minority Students' Mental Health and Enhance Their Well-Being .

cited authors

  • Müller, CC; Kayyali, M; Elzomor, M


  • The extensive presence of mental health conditions is continuously increasing among tertiary students. In the United States, it is estimated that 42% of college students suffer from anxiety and/or depression, and 38% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Furthermore, 13% of college students have ideated suicide, and approximately one thousand college students commit suicide each year, making this the second leading cause of death among tertiary students. However, despite these alarming statistics, there is minimal research on students' mental wellness, the factors contributing to their poor mental health and well-being, and the solutions and strategies to address these factors. Mental health is a core component of well-being, which influences all aspects of our daily life. Thus, students' academic success is correlated and significantly impacted by their mental health and general well-being. To this end, fostering awareness about our students' mental health, understanding inclusion, diversity, and equity, and enhancing students' well-being is of utmost importance to the academic community. This study aims to address and prioritize minority students' mental health and well-being by identifying the factors contributing to their anxiety and stress as well as proposing strategies to enhance their mental wellness and overall well-being. To achieve these objectives, the research study (a) gathered and assessed data from a minority-serving institution's (MSI) Counseling and Psychological Services; and (b) conducted a survey to students, which helped recognize some of the main academic factors contributing to students' stress and anxiety as well as identify current and potential resources that the institution can offer to enhance their well-being. The data collected from 456 students show that the main mental health issues are anxiety, depression, academic distress, and uncertainties about the future. The survey results showed that several academic factors, such as exams, not understanding assignments, financial issues, lack of time management skills, poor school-work-life balance, and presenting in class, greatly impact students' stress, anxiety, and overall well-being. In light of the results, the research proposes additional resources including peer mentoring programs, time management seminars, financial aid and budgeting workshops, increasing career/job fairs and networking with companies, as well as professional skills workshops including public speaking that can be implemented at not only MSIs, but also at other educational institutions to contribute to the mental wellness and overall well-being of students.

publication date

  • June 25, 2023