Counseling and health centers partner to save students

All health center students are offered screening for mental-health issues

Seton Hill University in western Pennsylvania has begun offering a mental-health screening survey to all students who use its health center, in a bid to identify students at-risk for serious mental health events, such as suicide, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports.

While the university has not had a student suicide since the late '90s, it remains the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey program is funded by a grant through the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which was enacted in 2004 after Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith's son took his own life at 21.

The survey takes approximately 15 minutes and is completed online. The survey results are forwarded to the staff member interacting with the student at the health center, who can speak with them immediately about mental-health resources.

Did you know programs like these also support international student mental health?

So far, about 200 Seton Hill students have taken the survey. University President Mary Finger says the survey will help administrators better understand the mental-health challenges of the student population.

For those who are struggling, "hearing a friendly voice say, ‘you're not alone; let's talk about this,'" can be extremely important, says Renee Raviart Dadey, a services coordinator for Westmorland Country, where Seton Hill is located.

Dadey calls Seton Hill University a "trailblazer" with the most robust mental-health screening program in the area (Stiles, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 11/2)


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