University Mental Health Center report links discrimination to mental health

University Mental Health Center report links discrimination to mental health

The findings also highlight the critical role that college advising centers play in supporting DEIB goals, which are a top priority for many institutions. Students who experienced discrimination felt significantly less distress and social isolation after receiving counseling services, but there were still differences in outcomes compared with students who did not experience discrimination.

“Counseling centers effectively support students who experience discrimination, but addressing related mental symptoms is only a small part of the solution,” said Schofield. “Institutions and leaders who prioritize and value mental health/wellness must simultaneously support DEIB informed Support services to close gaps in mental health symptoms and treatment outcomes for students facing identity discrimination.”

Penn State students can learn more about the mental health resources available to them here.

The report summarizes data provided to CCMH by 195 college and university counseling centers for the 2022-23 academic year.

Overall, 19.8% of students said they had experienced discrimination based on one or more identities while receiving counseling services in the past six months. The report did not identify the root causes of the discrimination, including whether it occurred within the university community.

Students who said they had experienced discrimination based on one or more identities (disability, gender, nationality/origin, race/ethnicity/culture, religion, and/or sexual orientation) in the past six months reported that they generally Feeling distressed, socially isolated, and experiencing suicidal thoughts when they entered counseling compared with clients who did not report discrimination.

“It’s important to emphasize that discrimination is not a mental health issue; it is a mental health issue. Rather, it is a social issue that is closely linked to severe mental health symptoms,” Schofield said. “DEIB’s initiatives are important in buffering against experiences of discrimination impact, creating advocacy to redress the social roots of discrimination and addressing the mental health impact of students who experience these experiences are critical. “

In addition to conducting future research in this area, CCMH plans to continue tracking discrimination data over time.

Other findings from the 2023 report include:

  • Counseling history is the mental health history item with the largest increase in 11 years: more than 61% of students received counseling before receiving services. Notably, trauma history had the second largest increase: approximately 47% of students initiating services endorsed a trauma history.

  • Of the areas that have increased significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (social anxiety, academic distress, eating problems, and family distress), only academic distress appears to be declining, with social anxiety and family distress continuing to increase slightly, and eating problems continuing to increase slightly. . keep it steady.

  • Although unchanged over the past year, anxiety remains the most common problem identified by therapists.

CCMH is an international Practice Research Network (PRN) of more than 800 college and university counseling centers that brings together clinical efforts, research, and technology. CCMH collects data from college and university counseling centers through daily clinical practice, creating the largest PRN of its kind in the world. Since its development by Ben Locke in 2004, CCMH has collected data on over 1.5 million unique customers.

The mission of the CCMH is to create a standardized, continuously flowing database of college mental health data from participating college counseling/mental health centers that can serve as a resource for college student mental health information and research.

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