Mental health challenges in academia: Comparison between students of the various educational levels in Ghana

Daniel Kwasi AHORSU, Emma Sethina ADJAOTTOR, Florence Aninniwaa YEBOAH, Yaw OPOKU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Students continue to face significant mental health challenges that vary in severity and type. It is, therefore, imperative that researchers and clinicians pay more attention to efforts aimed at improving the mental well-being of students. 

Aims: This study examined the differences between Ghanaian students of the various educational levels on some mental health variables and the psychosocial factors of suicidal ideation. 

Methods: Three hundred and fifty-seven (357) participants consisting of junior (92 students) and senior (99 students) high school students, undergraduates (86 students) and postgraduates (80 students) were involved in this cross-sectional study. 

Results: The study revealed that high school students had higher academic stress, depression and suicidal ideation and they used more coping strategies compared to university students. Depression, age, and educational levels were the factors that facilitated suicidal ideation, with spiritual and ritual centred coping strategy and religion (Islam) serving as a buffer for suicidal ideation among students. These factors varied with different educational levels. 

Conclusions: High school students experienced significant mental health problems compared to university students—this has direct implications on their academic and psychosocial development. The study recommends that mental health facilities be provided and managed by professionals, especially in high schools. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-299
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Ahorsu, D. K., Adjaottor, E. S., Yeboah, F. A., & Opoku, Y. (2021). Mental health challenges in academia: Comparison between students of the various educational levels in Ghana. Journal of Mental Health, 30(3), 292-299. doi: 10.1080/09638237.2020.1739253

Keywords

  • Academic stress
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Coping strategies
  • Educational levels

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