Improving Mental Health Services on Campus

April 21, 2023

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Title: Navigating a Path Forward for Mental Health Services in Higher Education

Authors: Kimberly S. Gorman, David Walden, Lynn Braun, and Marcus Hotaling

Source: Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors

The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors has released a new report that provides guidance on how colleges and universities can develop an approach to address mental health and well-being.

The report discusses how different trends affect mental health services on campuses and suggests ways to improve them. It emphasizes the need for clear decision-making, using third-party vendors, paying mental health staff well, and making sure all systems are working together. Doing these things can help reduce staff burnout and turnover.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • Identify key stakeholders and a leader with knowledge of mental health concerns to develop a campus-wide plan.
  • Define institutional understanding around mental health with a strategic plan and resources to support it.
  • Clarify the demand for services and determine the resources needed to meet demands.
  • Measure resources relative to utilization and specific goals.
  • Develop a clinical services model that focuses on meeting specific demands.
  • Assess third-party services that align with institutional goals and regularly evaluate their effectiveness.
  • Communicate a consistent approach to mental health to all constituents, especially students and parents.
  • Evaluate workplace culture and offer flexibility and autonomy to decrease clinician burnout and increase retention.
  • Utilize competitive compensation strategies for counseling center staff.

To explore findings and methodological information about the report and survey, click here.

—Alexandria M. Falzarano

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