Meeting the Mental Health Challenge, Volume 1

Best Practices for Addressing the Needs of Troubled Students on Campus

Topics: Mental Health and Counseling, Student Health and Wellness, Student Affairs, Residence Life, Student Experience

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By reading this study, members will learn:


• How can student affairs quickly identify and intervene with students with acute needs?

• How can student affairs work with the counseling center to ensure fast access to treatment while still serving students with less serious problems?

• How can the university ensure students follow through with needed treatment?

• How can universities strike the right balance between preserving student privacy and protecting the campus community?

Executive Summary

Student affairs leaders at universities nationwide are reporting rising demand for on-campus mental health services and an undergraduate population with growing and increasingly complex mental health needs. At the same time, universities are facing rising pressure from parents to provide a safe campus environment, with media focus on recent high-profile tragedies generating intense scrutiny of the support systems available to students on campuses across the country.

The Council’s best practice report Meeting the Mental Health Challenge helps student affairs executives and their teams tackle these challenges. Based on more than 200 in-depth interviews with student affairs executives, counseling center directors, and mental health experts, as well as dozens of extensive case studies, the Council’s report profiles 24 best practices for addressing the critical questions facing student affairs:

  • How can student affairs quickly identify and intervene with students with acute needs?
  • How can student affairs work with the counseling center to ensure fast access to treatment while still serving students with less serious problems?
  • How can the university ensure students follow through with needed treatment?
  • How can universities strike the right balance between preserving student privacy and protecting the campus community?

Advisory Board Essay