National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, joins its official teletherapy educational partner Uwill today in releasing new survey data that sheds light on the trajectory of student mental health (in the US) on college campuses and identifies challenges institutions face in providing mental health support.
The survey, which compiles insights from student affairs leaders representing more than 150,000 college students, confirms national reports that student mental health continues to decline. Furthermore, the survey also underscores campus leader concerns that institutions are not sufficiently prepared to offer students the necessary level of mental health support and resources.
Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA, said,
College leaders increasingly acknowledge the critical need to address mental health on campus, especially as more students open up about their struggles with issues like anxiety and depression. Demand for counseling and therapy services is outpacing capacity at many institutions, and our survey findings highlight the fact that more student affairs professionals see a real need to increase investments in mental health and wellness support.
Eight in ten institution leaders (84%) believe their campus should ramp up investments in mental health solutions, with many appreciating the critical importance to expand access and availability of mental health support. According to the survey findings, 72% of respondents believe student, faculty, and staff mental health has declined over the past year.
Michael London, Founder & CEO of Uwill, added,
Experts recognize the escalating mental health crisis on college campuses – and this crisis will continue to worsen until institutions take the steps necessary to ensure students have immediate and comprehensive counseling and wellness support. While a growing number of colleges are increasing their investment in student mental health, the data confirms more effort is needed.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- College presidents recognize the problem. Most (87%) respondents report their college presidents agree mental health is a leading priority, but more than half believe there is significant room for improvement in their institution’s ability to effectively respond to student mental health needs.
- Family and financial issues are leading stressors for students. Personal or family life issues (76%), financial or debt-related concerns (76%), diagnosed mental health concerns (70%), and academic concerns (66%) were ranked as the most significant causes of student stress.
- Mental health stigma is on the decline. Nine in ten campus leaders (93%) agree students have become more comfortable talking about mental health over the last five years, with only a small percentage of respondents (4%) ranking stigma as a significant challenge to improving campus mental health.
View the full report and reactions from higher education leaders here.
The upcoming NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference slated for January 19-21 in Kansas City, MO will take a closer look at best practices for reducing barriers to seeking mental health support and meeting evolving student needs. Uwill joins NASPA at the conference as the official teletherapy educational partner and will host a session sharing survey results and offering trends and insights based on Uwill’s work supporting more than 100 institutions and 1 million students.
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. The company’s work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 12,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.
Uwill is the leading mental health and wellness solution for colleges and students. Utilizing its proprietary technology and counselor team, Uwill pioneered the first student and therapist matching platform. The solution offers an immediate appointment with a licensed counselor based on student preferences, all modalities of teletherapy, a direct crisis connection, wellness events, real-time data, and support. The most cost-effective way to expand and enhance a college’s mental health offerings, Uwill partners with more than 100 institutions, including Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan, the American Public University System, and the University of Maryland, College Park.