What Colleges Need To Do To Make Student Mental Health A Priority

Experts explain how campuses can be more accepting and accommodating.
04/17/2018 11:38am ET | Updated April 18, 2018
Prasit photo via Getty Images
There are some ways colleges can be more well-equipped to meet students' mental health needs.

The necessity to address mental health issues among college students is becoming more and more pressing.

A 2017 survey conducted by the American College Health Association found that almost 40 percent of students reported feeling so depressed in the prior year that they found it difficult to function. Sixty-one percent of students reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety in the same time period. This can seriously impede a person’s performance: Research suggests poor mental health is significantly associated with dropping out of higher education.

The solution to this problem isn’t simple, but there are some ways colleges can be more well-equipped to meet students’ mental health needs. On Tuesday, experts discussed how to make psychological well-being a priority on college campuses and what type of policies are needed in this space in a panel at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This includes improving barriers to treatment, dismantling stigma, supporting students in need and promoting good wellness habits, like getting proper sleep, exercise and nutrition.

The featured panelists included Wellesley College President Paula Johnson, Active Minds Executive Director and founder Alison Malmon, McLean Hospital’s College Mental Health Program Director Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams. The event was moderated by Lindsay Holmes, HuffPost’s senior wellness editor.

Watch the discussion below.

This panel is presented by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with HuffPost.

Celebrities On The Importance Of Mental Health
Suggest a correction