The mental health pandemic is sweeping the globe, with common conditions like anxiety and depression affecting more minds than ever before. It is hitting one group of people quite hard: university students. As this near-future workforce emerges into a post-pandemic economy, it is crucial to make sure that their mental health, resilience, and capacity for high performance get as good a chance as ever.
Thankfully, after continuously gathering data on the South African student population, we have found a possible way for them to curb and even possibly reduce the severity of these mental health conditions. Using statistical analyses that take causation into account, we were able to quantify the positive effect that resilience has on the severity of anxiety and depression. This was the finding:
When these students’ resilience score (on the Neurozone® Resilience Index, or NRI) goes up by 1:
- it tends to cause depression scores to go down by 0.97, and
- it tends to cause anxiety scores to go down by 0.72.
This means, for example, if one student’s NRI goes from 60 to 70 (i.e., 10%), their depression score tends to reduce by 9.7%, and their anxiety score tends to go down by 7.2%.
This is incredibly helpful for many reasons. For people all over the world, there are many barriers to accessing mental healthcare services (e.g. psychiatric medication or psychotherapy). For students, the difficulty of accessing these essential services tends to be even greater. Yet, for those without this access, it seems there is another, more accessible option they can take for potentially improving their mental health: enhancing their resilience.
At Neurozone®, we endeavor to uncover through continuous research which behaviors, when cultivated, are associated with improving resilience on the NRI. What this may mean is that we may simultaneously be able to uncover which behaviors, when cultivated, may be associated with decreases in the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms. It might just be that enhancing resilience is, in some ways, an affordable treatment tool against the mental health pandemic.