Study: Number of students seeking campus mental health resources spikes
- A new study from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health reveals that campus counseling centers have increased their number of service hours provided to students for emergent requests or "at-risk" service provisions, but the trend may be resulting in more off-campus referrals for ongoing therapy.
- The survey, which analyzed more than 140 counseling centers and over 150,000 students nationwide, shows that campuses have increased "rapid-access" provisions by more than 28% over the last six years, but that these same centers have dropped service provision hours by nearly 8% over the same period.
- Data from the American College Health Association reveals that nearly a third of college students have reported difficulty in normal functioning due to mental health issues.
Leaders are increasingly concerned about the range of possibilities that unchecked or untreated mental health issues can cause for a campus. And while violence is the outcome which people fear the most, other issues like retention rates, graduation rates, suicide and outbursts in academic settings can also impact the executive planning efforts for counseling centers and treatment.
Many campuses are cutting these valuable services in the name of financial austerity, but leaders should ensure that there are strong plans for continuing service provision after these cuts are made. Outsourcing mental health services to contractors or engaging licensed faculty members in establishing part-time practice on campus could be two options, but must be done in consult with ethics boards overseeing psychological practice, and with diversity factors in mind.
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