When I was in college, my schedule consisted of the typical subjects — English, algebra, and beginner’s psychology. However, Yale is now offering a course that spans past advancing a career or academia. It’s now offering a class to teach students how to be happy and practice good mental health habits.
That class is ‘Psychology and the Good Life.” According to an article on WTNH entitled “Most Popular Class in Yale’s History Teaches Happiness,” the class uses research to “guide students into adopting better habits” in addition to “behavior changes that rewire the mind.”
The class, the article says, is taught by Dr. Laurie Santos. In her class, Santos teaches students several different aspects on how to achieve happiness — including practicing gratitude and how to rewire the mind.
According to the article, this class is one of the most popular classes taught at Yale in its’ 316 year history. The article said that one out of four undergraduate students are enrolled in the class.
However, Yale isn’t the only campus to offer a course in mindfulness. My alma mater, Southern Connecticut State University, also offered a class called Stress Management. While I did not take it, I’ve heard the class teaches students how to manage their stresses. In fact, a few of my friends said that it even taught them how to meditate.
These classes are essential when it comes to battling the college mental health crisis. According to an article from Psychology Today entitled “The College Mental Health Crisis — Focus on Overall Wellbeing,” we are in fact in a crisis when it comes to mental health in college students. The article reports that almost half of college students suffer from a mental illness. Furthermore, it also states that 73 percent of college students deal with a mental health crisis throughout their college career, with one third of students feeling so depressed that they have trouble functioning. What is even more startling is that only 25 percent of students who deal with mental health issues actually seek the help that they need.
With that being said, these classes are great aids to help with this crisis. For starters, they help instill healthy mental health habits. This is particularly crucial to practice in college, because there are so many stressors to college students.
Many college students work as well as take classes. In addition to that, there’s the pressure of getting a good GPA, finding a job post-graduate, and of course, balancing it all. For instance, some students balance multiple jobs, and a full course load. We also can’t forget that each course requires at least a few hours a week to devote to it. Therefore, to deal with it all, many college students often neglect their mental health. Hence, the crisis.
But, these classes are the first steps to battling this. After all, by learning how to put mindfulness first, helps a student live a balance life. This then makes it a habit. This is crucial to preventing a crisis, because those are the first steps to prevention.