Mental health from the classrooms: More connected but more Isolated

By: Ivan Ruiz M.A.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared in different reports in the last few years that mental health problems are the new “Health challenge” of our society. Mental health problems are very present in our society and situations like the COVID-19 pandemic have raised these problems to the surface. In fact, according to some reports in 2022, the WHO has presented that the prevalence of Depression and Anxiety increased in 25% worldwide. (World Health Organization, 2022).

Besides the increasing mental health problems, we are facing the rise of Artificial Intelligences (AI), social media usage and technology in general, which are having a big impact in our society. According to the American Sociological Association (ASA) there is a new phenomenon that is happening and still is not recognize officially: the Internet Addiction. The need to use the social media is more evident every day, and the time that we are spending in these platforms is not only increasing but being accompanied by dependency symptoms. (Cotten, 2022)

With all of this in mind, the Psychology department in collaboration with the Political Sciences department of Keiser University, Latin American Campus, decided to conduct a research study to evaluate the mental health status of Keiser students. With the participation of 275 undergraduates (representing the 65% of the total population of the campus), we decided to apply an instrument that included the adaptation of the Beck’s inventories of Anxiety and Depression. The main objective of the study was to detect different psychological symptoms, and to see what the students are doing to deal with them. (Ruiz, et al., 2024)

The results of this heightened our awareness. The signs of mental health symptoms were evident in the responses of the students. For example, 59% of the population stated that they think about death with some regularity; 68% said that they have experienced changes in their appetite, and 70% explained that they had troubles sleeping with some regularity. Looking into the bright side, around 57% of the students reported a positive opinion about mental health therapy, even when almost half of the population has never gone to a session. It is important to mention that the study found that students are choosing to exercise and take care of their physical health, reporting a 61% exercising themselves at least once a week (Ruiz, et al., 2024).

Other data analyzed in the study included the relationships, i.e., correlations, between the different variables that affect mental health. We found that the perception of physical symptoms was strongly correlated (r > 0.5) with depressive symptoms, like lack of energy, feelings of sadness and changes in appetite (Ruiz, et al., 2024).

The study ultimately showed how difficult it is to do a proper follow up on mental health in our society, especially in college students. In the case of Keiser San Marcos there are some efforts made by the institution, like the work of the Counseling office. But, one of the big challenges that we face here is how to solve the following paradox: in a world that is getting more and more connected every day, why is it that we feel lonelier? I believe that social media platforms and technology will play a big role in our future regarding mental health. With all these advances appearing every day, the ways of providing solutions and making mental health treatments and therapy more accessible to people seems to be the response. The main doubt will be on how we are going to use these tools. Are we going to use them to deal with our mental health issues? Or are we going to let technology isolate us and pressure us to reach to standards that seem more difficult to reach every day? The coin is in the air, is up to us to see the results of this challenge.


Coten, S. (2022, April). Footnotes A Magazine of the American Sociological Association. Retrieved from Is Technology Use Leading to the Demise of Our Mental Health and Well-Being?: htps://􀆟cle/technology-use-leading-demise-our-mental-health-and-well-being/

Ruiz, I., Ordoñez, J., Garcia , L., Melendez, M., Padilla, A., Reyes, S., Arauz, G., Cruzado, N. (2024). Exploring Mental Health Perceptions of Keiser University students at the Latin American Campus: A Comprehensive Analysis. San Marcos: Working Paper.

World Health Organiza􀆟on. (2022, March 2). World Health Organization. Retrieved from World Health Organiza􀆟on Web site: htps://


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