Financially insecure students may lack the resources like money, adequate insurance, or both that makes it nearly financially impossible for them to address their health issues or maintain health and hygiene. Finances should never be the reason why anyone needs to choose between their health or their education.
Students face massive amounts of stress when attending school. This stress-induced by studies as well as other social and economic factors can bring on a need for mental health services. According to Active Minds, 39% of students in college experience a significant mental health issue. Additionally, ⅔ students with anxiety or depression don't seek treatment. This is due to the skyrocketing cost to gain mental health services.
Colleges and universities must address the mental health of their students. According to the American Council of Education, poor mental health hinders students’ academic success; untreated mental health issues may lead to lower GPAs, discontinuous enrollment, and possible lapses in enrollment.
Institution’s investment in student mental health is important for the social, educational, and economic well-being of students, their campuses, and society as a whole. Investing time and resources in student mental health can result in academic and economic benefits for an institution and society. Colleges and universities need to invest more money into mental health servicess
Free Menstrual Products on Campus
College students have enough to worry about, and access to menstrual products should not be one of them. Students all over the country are taking a stand on their campuses to demand no-cost access to these necessary sanitary products in all campus bathrooms.
With the elimination of the taxation on menstrual hygiene products across 13 states, sanitary pads and tampons are starting to be viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury. New York City recently made it mandatory to provide free menstrual hygiene products in public schools, shelters, and jails.
Multiple colleges and universities across the country are also beginning initiatives to expand access to such products. Some examples include Bowling Green State University, New York State, and Yale and Columbia!
Facts about Menstrual Hygiene Products
- It is estimated that women spend around $120 on menstrual hygiene products each year.
- According to a survey by Free the Tampons, 86% of women reported beginning their period in public without the supplies they needed, and only 8% reported the menstrual hygiene product dispensers in bathrooms working 100% of the time.
- A bulk supply of 500 quality tampons costs about $80.
- According to a study conducted by Harris and Insights & Analytics of 1,000 women, they found that one in five young women could not afford menstrual products. It also states that two-thirds of respondents feel stress because they don’t have access to tampons and pads, 61% have worn tampons more than four hours, 25% missed class because they didn’t have access to tampons or pads, and 83% think lack of access "is not talked about enough."