College counseling and health centers pivoted quickly in the last two years to supporting students through a pandemic and online learning. But, challenges persist as many students are not using the resources available at their institutions to address mental health needs.

Why are students not utilizing campus mental health resources?

Campus wellness centers and mental health resources are often understaffed and under-resourced. In addition, students cite red-tape and restrictions that prevent them from receiving thorough mental health care such as institutional limits on individual counseling appointments and co-pays. Students have also reported feeling that they are too overwhelmed to reach out for help or that their feelings don’t merit help. In a recent Student Voice survey, students asked their institutions to prioritize expanding on-campus counseling services. On a positive note, 34 percent of students reported engaging in college-offered counseling in the last year (which was an increase from 2021).

What are efforts institutions can take to respond to student mental health needs?

  1. Make the process to access campus mental health resources easy for students.
  2. Provide immediate help options.
  3. Incorporate peer training and student support groups.
  4. Diversify counseling staff.
  5. Get student input into campus mental health resources and communication.

How can staff and faculty help support their students?
Attend this upcoming webinar with JED Foundation to examine how institutions can support a campus-wide approach to mental health, emotional well-being, substance misuse, and suicide prevention. Need additional learning resources to better address the mental health challenges of their students? Innovative Educators Mental Health Webinar Collection is a curated series of resources by national experts designed to support institutions in their work with students.

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