Colleges Get Proactive in Addressing Depression on Campus
June 26, 2017
Colleges are seeking to understand and address increasing rates of student mental health issues and suicide attempts. A five-year project funded by the nonprofit Duke Endowment is following the class of 2018 at four universities to gain insight into student stress and resilience, and participating schools are using the data to develop interventions. For example, after finding that many respondents had experienced the death of a loved one, Furman University in South Carolina set up a grief support group. To supplement existing campus counseling services, Davidson College in North Carolina is piloting an online therapy tool and offering stress reduction activities, such as arts and crafts. The U.C.L.A. Depression Grand Challenge is also collecting data on student mental health. College participants are screened for depression and anxiety, provided treatment as needed, and monitored over a four-year period. Rutgers University in New Jersey is seen as a leader in addressing student mental health, offering the country’s first housing for students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Earlier this year, the school launched an initiative to embed counselors in campus cultural centers to expand services to minority groups.
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