From Surviving to Thriving: How Colleges Can Use the Science of Positive Psychology to Enhance Student Well-Being
Depression and anxiety have been on the rise on college campuses. Reports indicate that more than a quarter of undergraduate students are suffering from mental health issues (Eisenberg & Ketchen Lipson, 2017). While it is likely that support for mental illness will always be needed, the science of positive psychology offers additional opportunities for improving mental health. Through research-based interventions, it may be possible to reduce symptoms associated with many of the issues facing today’s college students, from depression and anxiety to feelings of not belonging and a lack of resilience. This paper explores the current state of mental health on college campuses in the United States (US), the role generational characteristics may be playing, why today’s students are suffering, and what can be done. By offering a variety of evidence-based programs, colleges and universities can help students shift from simply surviving to truly thriving.