Life after graduation

College Students Share Their Opinions on Mental Health at Work

Survey results show college students' mental health priorities — and employers should pay attention.

A global pandemic is difficult enough to cope with; combine that with campus closures and economic uncertainty sparked by COVID-19, and you’ve got a seriously scary and confusing year. So when we sent out a recent survey to college students like you, we wanted to talk mental health. The results show that you care a lot about this issue—and companies that want to hire you should take note.

Mental health is a top priority

More than 65% of students surveyed told us that they’re prioritizing mental health as a result of the pandemic and would like to see support from employers. But while students certainly hope their future jobs will provide mental health benefits, it’s clear that you simply can’t wait… almost half of students report increased anxiety right now due to the uncertainty of the current economic climate.

So, you’re being proactive. Among our most visited blogs of 2020 is this list of free resources for college students, which offers tools to care for mental and emotional health during COVID-19. 

Everybody has their own mental health journey, but sometimes approachable tips can help you get started. One way to manage stress is by practicing mindfulness meditation for a few minutes each day, which has a positive impact on both anxiety and depression. Working to improve sleep habits, practicing healthy movement each day, and turning to relaxing breathing exercises can also positively affect your mental health during trying times. 

College job-seekers want mental health benefits

Ultimately, you also hope that employers will be equally proactive in providing benefits for mental health. 62.5% of students feel it’s important for their future employer to provide mental health benefits, especially after COVID-19. If a “Zoom office” is in your future, this is even more vital. Over half of you say companies should invest more in employees’ mental health while working remotely. 

It’s not just coverage for therapy and meditation sessions that matter, though. Nearly half of students told us that companies’ HR policies should actively support non-discrimination around mental health issues. Plus, it’s important that employers hiring college students provide extra guidance for coping with a newly virtual workplace! In our survey, 51% of students expressed concerns about the increasingly common shift to remote work impacting their mental health. Your two biggest fears include feelings of isolation (52.8%) and a lack of work-life balance (49.8%).

You’ve already shown unbelievable fortitude, adaptability, and creativity when faced with all of 2020’s curveballs. Even this unprecedented year is no match for you! There’s never been a one-size-fits-all solution for mental health, but healthy habits and authentic support in the workplace can make a world of difference—and hopefully employers are paying attention.