Should colleges offer courses that support student mental health and well-being?

Students are coming to the realization that they need some help and guidance when it comes to managing their mental health. Colleges are realizing that these courses are very popular among students, yet they are not widely available. Educational institutions have a unique opportunity to invest in prevention and reap the rewards of cultivating an engaged, creative, and innovative student body. It is common to hear stories about students struggling to manage their stress levels and becoming overwhelmed by the demands of school. Reaction to this ranges from ridiculing the generation’s lack of resilience to investing absurd amounts of time and money accommodating and trying to pave the jungle for students. When this inevitably fails, society again pays for treatment of future mental health challenges because the ability to cope was never taught.

These cycles are not new, but open discussion about how we cope and put our lives into perspective is a relatively new as a concept to be taught in educational institutions. Many people still believe in simply learning to ‘suck it up’ and move forward.

Although this may be what previous generations had to do, is it really the best solution? A quick look at my own peer group (I am 50 years old) shows clear patterns of coping through alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, and various other forms of hijacking the mind.

As adults, many of my peers are struggling with addictions, anxiety, depression, and a lack of purpose in life. Is this what we want our children to emulate.

In a perfect world, parents would teach and role model all the concepts taught in the Lifelight program for their children. The neural pathways for resilience and well-being would be built and simply reinforced over a lifetime of living and coping with surface events.

During the period of adolescence, the brain would prune away unused pathways and create superhighways to happiness and fulfillment. Unfortunately, most of us parents have no idea how to teach these concepts because we were never taught them, and we have no clear resources to help guide ourselves and our children. As a result, both adults and children are experiencing large amounts of needless suffering.

Schools are in a unique position to introduce these concepts to children and support the practice of these concepts throughout the educational journey. The ability to connect to Source, to differentiate between surface and Source, to have a clear sense of identity, to manage emotions, to identify mind stories, and to understand hijacking are crucial life skills. Teaching and discussing these concepts and introducing various practices are perfect examples of how a small amount of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.