Mental health resources for college students: A comprehensive guide
Recent college mental health statistics confirm what many already knew: Students are struggling to keep up in class and preserve their mental health.
A 2022 study found that more than 60 percent of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem. A different survey concluded that nearly three-quarters of college students reported moderate or severe psychological distress.
No matter what you’re dealing with, just know that you don’t have to do it alone. There are several mental health resources for college students to take advantage of.
5 types of college mental health resources to be aware of
Whether you’re having trouble being away from home for the first time or you’re an adult learner balancing all of the stresses of work, school and life, everyone needs support sometimes. Keep these options in mind when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
1. Find a therapist
Working with a licensed professional is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. But even if you have insurance and the means to pay for therapy, it can be time-consuming to find a provider who is accepting new patients. Fortunately, an increase in virtual therapy options has made it easier in some cases, as there is more flexibility.
The Psychology Today therapist finder tool is a great place to start your search for providers in your area. You’ll want to browse listings and find people who you think will be a good fit, and then initiate a short phone screening call. You can reach out to prospective therapists by email, phone or profile and request a consultation.
2. Crisis hotlines
Sometimes people experience a mental health crisis and can’t wait weeks or even days to speak with someone. If you or a loved one need immediate help, there are many free and confidential resources that can help you connect with a skilled, trained mental health professional via a phone call or text.
3. Free online peer support groups
In a perfect world, everyone would have access to affordable therapy sessions with a trained professional. However, we know that is not the case for many individuals. But there are online spaces where you can find friendly and supportive communities of people who may be dealing with the same hardships you are.
Online peer support groups can be a great place to link up with other people, feel less alone and even make new friends. While these aren’t a substitute for therapy, there are plenty of options that are free and make it easy to get connected.
There are hundreds of support groups for all kinds of topics. Here are a just few examples:
Online support groups for depression
Online support groups for grief
Online support groups for ADHD
Online support groups for eating disorders
4. Free/low-cost assistive technology apps and software
People with disabilities are often marginalized and face more barriers to education than their able-bodied peers, which can negatively impact their overall mental health. Assistive Technology (AT) is used by many individuals with disabilities to do things that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.
An AT device could be any item, piece of equipment or product system, that is used to increase, maintain or improve a person’s functional capabilities. Some examples of helpful AT for students include:
Audio Recording and Notetaking Support
5. Mental health resources for military members and veterans
Those who have served in the armed forces are more likely to experience certain types of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Estimates vary, but one study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans concluded that 13.5 percent of deployed and nondeployed veterans had PTSD. Another meta-analysis of data from 2007-2013 found that around 23 percent of troops were afflicted. (PTSD rates in the general population are around four percent.)
While service members and veterans have access to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mental health resources, there are also several other online options. Consider the following:
Get the support you deserve at UMass Global
At UMass Global, we are committed to supporting our students in every way we can. We offer a robust array of student services designed to help you stay motivated, engaged and on track for graduation. Our faculty, academic advisors and staff are dedicated professionals who care about the success of each and every student.
In addition to the mental health resources for college students shared above, we encourage our UMass Global students to take advantage of all our services, which include:
Become a Student
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