Mental Health on College Campuses: Investments, Accommodations Needed to Address Student Needs

Description:

More and more students are seeking support for mental health disabilities at colleges, but colleges have been unable to meet that demand. Some have argued that the nation has reached a “campus mental health crisis.”

This National Council on Disability (NCD) report examines and assesses the status of college mental health services and policies in the United States, and provides recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, and colleges to improve college mental health services and post-educational outcomes for students with mental health disabilities.

Key findings include:

  • Colleges are struggling to provide adequate mental health services and supports for students with mental health disabilities due largely to increased numbers of students with mental health challenges attending colleges and a lack of financial resources.
     
  • Students with mental health disabilities are often placed on lengthy waiting lists for mental health services – sometimes waiting over a month. Many schools do not screen for emergencies when students seek help.
     
  • Community colleges are the least equipped to deal with student mental health issues when compared with state colleges and universities, even though they statistically serve the most at-risk student populations.
     
  • The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has not provided guidance to colleges on how to respond to students that pose a threat to themselves.
     
  • Multiple restrictions in the provision of federal and college financial aid negatively impact the ability of students with mental health disabilities to complete their postsecondary education.
Tag(s): After High School Emotional Disabilities High School Postsecondary Education Professional Resources Transition