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Supporting Mental Health of College Students On and Off Campus

college students studying together.

College can be a time of great stress and adjustment for students. Between academic demands, social pressures, and newfound independence, it’s not surprising that mental health issues are a common concern among college students. Research shows that 75% of college students report experiencing stress, 39% report symptoms of depression, and 17% report having suicidal thoughts.

Fortunately, several resources are available to support mental health on and off campus. In this article, we’ll explore ways that colleges and universities can help students maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

On-Campus Resources

One of the most important resources for supporting mental health on campus is the college counseling center. These centers provide a range of services, including individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and referrals to outside mental health professionals. In addition to traditional counseling services, many counseling centers offer workshops and educational programs on stress management, mindfulness, and self-care.

Another vital on-campus resource is the student health center. While the health center may not specifically focus on mental health, it can be a good place for students to receive general healthcare and support for physical issues that may contribute to mental health problems. For example, a student struggling with depression may also be experiencing physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, or digestive issues. Addressing these physical symptoms can be an important step in improving overall mental health.

Finally, many colleges and universities offer student organizations and clubs that focus on mental health and wellness. These groups can provide a sense of community and support for students who may be struggling with mental health issues. They may also organize events and activities that promote mental health and wellbeing, such as yoga classes, meditation groups, or mental health awareness campaigns.

Off-Campus Resources

In addition to on-campus resources, there are also a number of off-campus resources that support mental health for college students. One important resource is Community mental health centers. These centers provide a range of mental health services, including therapy, medication management, and crisis intervention. Community mental health centers often have sliding fee scales, making services more affordable for students who may not have insurance or be underinsured.

Another off-campus resource is private mental health practitioners, such as therapists or psychiatrists. While private practitioners may be more expensive than community mental health centers, they may be a good option for students looking for specialized care or wanting to work with a specific therapist or provider. Many private practitioners offer sliding fee scales or accept insurance, which can make services more affordable.

In addition to professional mental health services, a number of self-help and support resources are available to college students. These resources may include online support groups, self-help books, or mobile apps designed to support mental health and wellbeing. While these resources may not be a substitute for professional mental health services, they can be a helpful supplement for students looking for additional support or who may not be ready to seek professional care.

Challenges to Accessing Mental Health Resources

While there are many resources available to support mental health for college students, accessing those resources can sometimes be challenging. Some common barriers to accessing mental health resources include stigma, lack of awareness or knowledge about available resources, and financial barriers.

Stigma around mental health can prevent students from seeking the help they need. Students may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their mental health concerns or worry that seeking help will make them appear weak or vulnerable. To address this barrier, colleges and universities can work to create a culture of openness and acceptance around mental health. This can include promoting mental health awareness campaigns, offering mental health education programs, and encouraging students to seek help when they need it.

Lack of awareness or knowledge about available resources can also be a barrier to accessing mental health services. Students may not know about the resources that are available to them, or they may not know how to access those resources. To address this barrier, colleges and universities can work to raise awareness about available mental health resources through outreach efforts, such as campus-wide emails, social media campaigns, and in-person events.

Finally, financial barriers can prevent students from accessing mental health services. Many students may not have insurance or be underinsured, and mental health services can be expensive. To address this barrier, colleges and universities can work to provide affordable mental health services, such as offering sliding fee scales or partnering with community mental health centers to provide low-cost services.


Maintaining positive mental health is essential for success in college and beyond. Colleges and universities have an important role in supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing. By providing on-campus resources, raising awareness about available resources, and addressing barriers to accessing services, colleges and universities can help students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Students struggling with mental health issues should know that they are not alone and that many resources are available to support them on and off campus.

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialists can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

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About the Author: Rachel is a skilled writer and a passionate researcher who takes immense pleasure in sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. As a departmental assistant, she remains connected with students and is always willing to provide assistance or a listening ear. Recently, Rachel has taken on a new challenge by joining the team of writers at Study Crumb, where she can reach a much larger online audience and offer valuable guidance to those seeking it.

Photo by Andy Barbour: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-students-working-together-6684552/

May Is Mental Health Month 2023

"Look Around, Look Within"

May is Mental Health Month, a time to spread public awareness and education about mental health disorders and reflect on the impact of mental illness on individuals and their families.

The theme of this year's Mental Health Month is to take some time to "Look Around, Look Within." The goal this May is to challenge yourself to examine your world and how it can affect your overall mental health – from your neighborhood to genetics, many factors come into play when it comes to mental health.

It is also a time to recognize and commit to changing the racial and economic inequities in our healthcare system, particularly with respect to mental health.

www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice and to making mental health services accessible to all.

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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