College Mental Health
What was already a serious problem for college administrators has become a public health crisis as experts warn of an “echo-pandemic” of mental illness caused by the length and breadth of the exposure students have had to the adverse events of 2020.
According to the Healthy Minds Network, the prevalence of college-aged people with a diagnosable mental illness was already rising, with increasing from 21.9 percent in 2007 to 35.5 percent in 2017. Pandemic era studies by the Centers for Disease Control, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the American Psychological Association found some 40-50 percent of college-aged adults are now likely to be experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This page offers a variety of resources and information for leaders in higher education and mental health.
Social Emotional Learning
Higher education leaders can look for healing within their communities and classrooms with strategies involving social and emotional learning and a range of resources that transcend the limits of traditional counseling centers.
- "It’s on Us: Improving Student Behavioral Health After the Year that Changed Everything," Dr. Nicholas Covino, July 2021, Mary Christie Quarterly
"Students returning to campus will carry trauma," Dr. Nicholas Covino, August 2021, Commonwealth Magazine
Mary Christie Institute, Christie Campus Health Faculty Guide
The Mary Christie Institute interviewed college students during the summer of 2021. Information collected via those interviews helped create the MCI Faculty Guide on Student Mental Health, which considers both how classroom dynamics affect mental health and the support students reported wanting from faculty.
- Download the Fall 2021 Faculty Guide on Student Mental Health (PDF) via the Mary Christie Institute website.
- Mary Christie Institute curates focused resources on a variety of topics of note and regularly publishes articles and links to news of note about College Mental Health subscribe to the MCFeed or Mary Christie Quarterly via the link in the footer of the Mary Christie Institute website.
The Steve Fund Recommendations for Mental Health and Well-Being of Students of Color
The Steve Fund Crisis Response Task Force recently released recommendations for higher education institutions and employers on promoting mental health and wellbeing of students of color.
- Adapting and Innovating to Promote Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being of Young People of Color: COVID-19 and Beyond (PDF)
- For a summary of recommendations, read the report announcement.
Organizations Providing Resources or College Mental Health Support
- JED Foundation
- Mary Christie Institute
- The Steve Fund
- College Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital
- ULifeline online resource for college mental health
Trainings and Other Resources
- "Step Up! Bystander Intervention Training." Developed by the University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program in partnership with the NCAA, this program is used by athletics, Greek life, student affairs, campus health, violence prevention centers, residence life and others to educate bystanders and observes on what actions to take when they have concerns about an individual or situation.
- Mental Health First Aid, a skills-based training course presented by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing that teaches about mental health and substance-use issues.