College Guide For The Students With Psychiatric Disabilities (Part 2)
Some psychiatric disabilities are encountered more often among college students. They are:
- Depression –in 27% of the respondents;
- Bipolar disorder – 24%;
- Anxiety – 11%;
- ADHD – 5%;
- Substance abuse – 1%;
- Other conditions (eating disorders, OCD and ASD) – 12%.
Moreover, statistics say that 1 out of 4 respondents had suicidal thoughts.
Transition to College
The transition from high school to college is a challenge for most students, but the individuals living with a mental illness experience lots of obstacles. Therefore, it’s important to choose the college that provides all needed accommodations and services for such students and considers their different needs. It’s essential for the student to meet his/her therapist or counselor and get mental health services on campus.
Educational institutions have to provide their students with everything they need. Most experts say that it’s crucial to implement the Universal Design of Learning (UDL) in college classrooms. UDL strives to modify the study curricula to include the students with different needs and those who have a disability affecting their learning skills. To create the courses that are accessible to everyone and make sure that their campuses and classes are inclusive, colleges need to implement the following steps:
- Let students with psychiatric disabilities take exams, give presentations, and complete coursework utilizing alternative formats;
- Give these students extra time for tests and assignments;
- Help the students with psychiatric disabilities to access software and technology that will allow them to adapt and study well;
- Appoint the people who can help students with special needs to take notes, read, scribe, etc.;
- Give these students free access to counselors, resource centers and other assistive on-campus facilities.
In the today’s age of innovative technologies, it’s become possible to use technology and mobile applications to help the students with psychiatric disabilities study more effectively. Find some of their examples below.
- CD and MP3 players: play natural sounds or instrumental music. Scientists state that listening to such sounds assists in alleviating anxiety and other conditions. They can also serve as study aids for the students with ADHD.
- Electronic planners: they offer a reminder system that helps students remember what they need to do, maintain their schedule, plan appointments, and organize assignments.
- Digital recorders: with their help, students can record the lectures to re-listen them and grasp more information.
- Soothers: the devices that calm a person susceptible to stress, anxiety, and mood swings. They can transmit calm music or sounds, or show something that provides relief.
- Self-help for anxiety management: helps manage anxious behaviors and thoughts.
- Recovery record: helps the people with eating disorders create healthy diet plans and work out a long-term condition management system.
- Rescuetime: helps the people with ADHD track their activities and balance their schedule.
- Moodpanda: helps manage mood-related disorders using calendars, graphs, and interactive displays,
- Panic relief: helps manage and prevent panic attacks.