Improving Mental Health Care of College Campuses

Mental health on college campuses has gained more awareness. An increasing number of college students suffer from mental health issues and require help from professionals. A 2014 National Survey of College Counseling Centersfound that 52% of the respondent’s clients had severe psychological problems. As a result, colleges are expanding services for students battling conditions such as depression and anxiety. Better and accessible screening, as well as earlier diagnosis, are important factors in improving the quality of mental health care on college campuses.

Accessible Screening and Services

Late adolescence and early adulthood are times when many mental health issues begin to manifest. Therefore, in addition to adjusting to college life, many students are coping with the onset of conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Many students may not know what is happening to them, and it is important for college campuses to conduct screenings to determine whether a student is in need of help. On-campus screenings for possible depression and other conditions can help point students towards services.In addition, access to crisis care can be essential to students with mental disabilities. Crisis hotlines staffed with after hour counselors can be used to triage issues and direct students in crisis to the services they need.

The most important quality in mental health services on campus is accessibility to all students. Many campuses simply don’t have enough staff to accommodate the students who need help, and students languish on waiting lists. Ensuring that mental health centers have adequate numbers of properly trained staff to help students is an essential duty of any college campus.

Early Diagnosis

In addition to accessibility, it is important that the staff in campus mental health centers are adequately trained to recognize the symptoms of serious mental illness in college students. Individuals with conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder benefit from early treatment and diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis can lead to serious problems with academics and social skills and can lead to college students failing to succeed. If staff are adequately prepared to treat the mental illness of college students, they should have the capability of referring students to providers in the community who can help.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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