Mental and Behavioral Health
Inside Higher Ed covers a new report from the educational consultant group College Futures Foundation, which reviews how the structures of higher education impact student mental well-being both positively and negatively. Negative impacts include: promoting social isolation, especially for minority students; upholding and high costs and promoting debt, creating barriers to accessing mental health. Positive impacts include teaching proactive self-care, integrating wellness into curriculum; fostering belonging and affirm and validate students.
Higher Ed Dive reports that the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education developed a program that provides free around-the-clock online mental health services to college students in the state, funded through $10 million in one-time federal COVID-19 relief dollars. Any type of institution — two- and four-year, public or private nonprofit — can opt in without any expense, so long as they received state aid. The program, announced last month, will be evaluated on multiple measures, including by how many students utilize the service.
In a column in Forbes, Jason Richmond, Founder and Chief Culture Officer of Ideal Outcomes, Inc., a corporate culture consulting agency, discusses the issue of burnout at the workplace. In the discussion, he highlights the recent MCI survey that showed that 53% of recent college graduates aged 22-28 said they experienced burnout at work at least once a week. He offered suggestions on how to prevent the problem, including staying connected and recognizing employee accomplishments.
Inside Higher Ed reports that in response to the student mental health crisis, colleges across the US are increasingly focused on creating a sense of community on campus. This is a particular challenge for universities that don’t have a physical campus or residential population, like online universities with student bodies scattered across the world. Universities like National University, which serves large numbers of parents, full-time workers and members of the military, are working to create community using strategies like creating school songs, mascots, and traditions like homecoming and other in-person events.
New data from Inside Higher Ed’s recent Student Voice survey, which queried 3,000 two- and four-year college students at 158 institutions about their own health and wellness and related campus services, showed that: Of students who reported use of telecounseling but not on-campus counseling, nearly half approve of the quality of care they received and of appointment availability. About a quarter say that follow-up care went well and that they had the “ability to schedule with a counselor [they] could relate to.” Almost half of these students say that quality of care needs improvement. Over three in 10 say that follow-up care, appointment availability, and ability to schedule with a counselor they could relate to all need improvement. Of the students who had used on-campus counseling but not telecounseling, 55% approved of the quality of care – higher than the telecounseling-only group; and had comparable approval rates for quality of care, follow-up care, and their ability to schedule with a counselor to whom they could relate.