Student Mental Health Concerns and Community Response at a Mid-Size Private University

Mary-Margaret Koch


College and university students are struggling with emotional and behavioral health problems at higher rates than previous generations. Between 2001 and 2008, the number of incoming students reporting mental health issues increased by 90% at four-year institutions. At a mid-size private university, demand for counseling services has increased significantly since 2011. The top concerns that cause students at this university to make an appointment that the University Counseling Center are student stress and anxiety. The research will seek to answer the question: Did the needs of the community surrounding stress and anxiety change between 2011 and 2015, and if so, how has the University Counseling Center responded to these changing needs? This mixed-methods research study will examine data collected from the 2011 and 2015 administrations of the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment at a mid-size private university. The quantitative data will be examined by the demographics of gender, race, grade in school, and housing location. The qualitative data comes from questions added to the 2015 version of the survey that asked students to describe their sources of stress and anxiety as well as what actions the university could take to reduce their stress. This research will inform the University Counseling Center at the university which demographics of the student population have experienced the most changes from 2011 to 2015, as well as provide recommendations for actions the university could take to reduce student stress.


Student Stress; Anxiety; National Collegiate Health Assessment

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