How the election is impacting mental health among students

As 2020 comes to an end in all of its glory, the U.S. Presidential election is just another additive to mental health struggles for the students on campus.

According to a BioMed Central study on the impact of the 2016 presidential election, the majority of the youth participants reported emotional stress throughout the election process.

Political discussions are notoriously touchy subjects; it is no secret that it can be difficult to explain your own opinions to someone with opposing ones. The current political climate — with two opinionated candidates who do not play well during their own debates — makes the topic even more taboo while passing the stuffing to Grandma at Thanksgiving dinner.

Not to mention that this year’s election is significantly tied into fundamental human rights issues as a result of 2020’s ongoing racist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic and sexist events.

“The largest contributor to my emotions surrounding the election is truly the fact that there are basic human rights being put at risk, not only just for me, but for many people that I love,” said Michael Calabrese, junior sports management major. “How can someone not feel stressed or upset or scared when they are watching their rights to equality be decided by someone else?”

With President Donald Trump’s reelection and former vice president Joseph Biden’s opposing campaign plastered on all social media outlets, the topic can be inescapable to young adults.

A survey by the Pew Research Center concluded that 55% of adult social media users feel “worn out” by the number of political posts and discussions. The same study also reported that seven-in-ten users say it is stressful to talk politics with people they disagree with on social media.

Calabrese suggests that any students feeling anxious tune it out and take time to disconnect.

“In the world we live in today, it is extremely hard to do that I know, but tuning out and disconnecting to give yourself some time to reflect and have a thought to just you could help so much,” said Calabrese.

Students are encouraged to utilize the resources Counseling & Psychological Services has to offer.