Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It’s not just college students. Higher education itself is experiencing a mental health crisis

By Amy X. Wang
June 8, 2016

Graduation: classically peppered by parties, gifts, and champagne toasts to the happy memories of university life.

Not all the seniors donning their caps and gowns during this year’s commencement season will be leaving behind four years of joy and wonder, however. Far from it. For tens of thousands, the college experience has been marred by crippling stress—enough so that many campuses have been overwhelmed by demand for mental health services.

The situation has been acute enough to prompt expensive policy changes. California, cash-strapped as it may be, recently proposed a bill that would set up funding streams for mental health services for students at all of the state’s public colleges. And the University of California system recently committed millions of dollars to expanding its student mental health budget, including the hiring of more psychologists, psychiatrists, and case managers, in response to student complaints of inadequate counseling resources. The UC schools join dozens of other universities, coast to coast, staggering under the same weight.

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