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5 Facts Of Student Mental Health In Higher Education

Mental health has become a hot topic in higher education. There is a higher demand for counseling and psychological services. College counseling centers have seen a spike in students setting up visits for a variety of reasons. Below has 5 need to know facts on student mental health at colleges and university.

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1: There are many different sources of student mental health difficulties.

Students may come to college "predisposed to experience certain psychological disorders" (Schwitzer & Van Brunt 2015, p. 334). Students come to college with many different experiences. Some students might develop mental health difficulties throughout their college experience while others start college with mental health difficulties. These difficulties do not stem from the same place, and can only be pinpointed by mental health professionals.

2: Mental health involves many types of difficulties.

Schwitzer & Van Brunt (2015) discuss a variety of student mental health issues in their book Today's College Students: A Reader. These issues include alcohol and other substance abuse, anxiety, depression, dating and relationship violence, sexual violence, eating disorders, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Mental health is a broad term that encompasses many different issues that college students are facing. When a student opens up about the mental health issues there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so higher education institutions has to employ mental health professionals that can help students through these mental health issues.

3: The view of mental health is changing in higher education.

Mental health of students has become a top priority in higher education. Mental health is a daily topic of discussion of student affairs professionals as they try to provide the resources the students need. Mental health used to have a negative stigma, but mental health is now viewed as "normal" and more students are open about their mental health difficulties. With the stigma on mental health changing, higher education institutions must be prepared to help students address these difficulties.

4: Higher education institutions cannot handle the demand of mental health needs.

Kathleen Baker (2016) describes in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education how with the increased demand of mental health services, higher education institutions are not able to keep up with the demand. Directors of mental health at higher institutions state that 66% of the students they see are in need of immediate assistance. Many students have to book appointments months in advance to be able to see someone in the counseling center. This often leaves student affairs professionals that are not trained in a position to help students in crisis.

5: Colleges are seeking low-cost ways to support students' mental health.

With institutions not being able to fund enough professionals to help students with their mental health issues, many institutions are also looking at how they can provide lower-cost resources to help students. Higher education institutions see the need for resources to help students with mental health issues, but unfortunately too many institutions do not have the funding to higher more professionals in their counseling centers. This has led to institutions providing more resources and education on mental health to help students learn how to manage their mental health.


Baker, K. (2016, October 27). Mental-health issues in students. Retrieved 2017, from

Sasso, P. A., & DeVitis, J. L. (2015). Today's college students: a reader. New York: P. Lang.

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