In greater Boston, there are approximately 250,000 students enrolled in colleges and universities.
In recent years, there has been an increase in mental health and psychological issues among students but schools have not been able to meet all of their needs.
As the article below mentions, many private psychologists and psychological counseling centers, such as CPA, provide psychological services for college students. Indeed, CPA offers services to hundreds of area college students every year, from traditional psychological counseling services to learning disability and dyslexia testing.
But, even when relying on community providers, there still are not enough services available for college students. The White House has started a national conversation to identify ways to better meet the mental health needs of students. Psychologists and national mental health organizations are part of this important conversation and hopefully will be part of the solution. Read more below:
Excerpt from APA article:
An increasing number of college students are arriving on campus with psychological issues or developing problems once theyre in school, psychologist Sharon Kirkland-Gordon, PhD, told participants at APAs 2013 Education Leadership Conference.
And college counseling centers are evolving to meet those changing needs, said Kirkland-Gordon, who directs the University of Marylands Counseling Center. Counseling centers got their start in the mid-1940s, with faculty advising students with academic problems, she said. The movement took off after World War II, with centers providing educational and vocational counseling to the influx of veterans arriving on campus. Centers then added personal counseling to the services offered and began to see increasingly complex cases.
“The good news? Students are coming in, theyre bringing other students in and faculty and staff are walking students over to the center,” said Kirkland-Gordon. “The bad news? Its hard to keep up with the numbers of students coming in.” The result is long waiting lists and referrals to community providers, she said.
Several best practices could help solve the problem, said Kirkland-Gordon. Because more students are arriving at college already on medications, mental health prevention and intervention efforts need to start in high school, for example. She also recommended that centers hire more staff to handle increased demand, train faculty and staff how to recognize students in distress and what to do, enlist student groups to help with social media campaigns, create wellness and coping programs and establish medical leave policies that include mental health.
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