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The Mary Christie Institute, in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, presents “Peer Programs in College Student Mental Health,” an in-depth look at a growing practice at colleges and universities around the country. Amidst escalating rates of anxiety and depression among college students, campuses are considering the role of trained peers in helping some students with some level of distress yet little information or guidance exists broadly on the practice of peer to peer support in college. This report gives an overview of peer support in a college setting, identifies commonly used programs, considers their benefits and risks, and makes recommendations about how to codify and strengthen the practice.
In this first-of-its-kind survey of college students on peer counseling, Born This Way Foundation and the Mary Christie Institute examine the perceptions and experiences of college students as they pertain to peer mental health support.
The Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) partnered with the Mary Christie Foundation (MCF) and the Healthy Minds Network (HMN) to pilot a survey aimed at understanding faculty members’ perspectives on the current state of student mental and behavioral health. The survey was funded by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
Findings address faculty’s perceptions of student mental health needs, faculty’s experiences supporting students, as well as the need for institutional resources to address both student and faculty mental health. This study is grounded in the idea that higher education faculty are increasingly involved in responding to student mental health concerns.
In 2019 and 2020, nearly 100 higher education leaders came together in a set of convenings to examine the mental health and well-being of their students. Held at Georgetown University and hosted by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia and Mary Christie Foundation President John P. Howe III, M.D., the convenings offered data reporting, expert perspectives, and strategic discussion on the complicated and tenacious problem of student mental health.
The Higher Education Leadership Convenings on College Student Behavioral Health yielded five promising opportunities to improve student behavioral health by changing the environments in which it is addressed. The immediate and significant implications of the COVID-19 pandemic provide a unique window for change. These implications are a reminder of how important student well-being is to a successful college experience.
Parents of today’s college students are showing a heightened concern about mental health on campus, with 76 percent calling the issue very or somewhat serious and a majority going so far as to say that access to mental health services was an important factor in the college selection process.
The nationally representative survey, which polled over 1,000 parents of students between the ages of 18-25 at residential colleges, indicates engaged parents have significant levels of concern but may have misconceptions about key factors in college student mental health regarding disclosure, accountability, and campus resources. The poll, conducted by Boston-based MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, shows that concern is higher among parents of students with a current mental health condition. Concern is also as high or higher among parents of students of color, though their worries about mental health are rivaled by their concern about race relations on campus.
Read the “College Substance Use- New Approaches to A Perennial Problem” paper, which provides key takeaways from a forum featuring five college presidents and national substance use experts on how to curb binge drinking and other substance use problems on college campuses.
A majority of college administrators in a new survey say that more students believe marijuana to be “safe,” drawing concern that changing national attitudes about marijuana might have downstream effects on college campuses. Administrators say the number of students with marijuana-related problems has either increased (37 percent) or stayed the same (32 percent), while almost none say such problems have lessened. The Mary Christie Foundation and the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy conducted the survey in conjunction with the National Association of System Heads (NASH).
The Mary Christie Foundation, in collaboration with the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy, surveyed parents of current college students on their views and perceptions of alcohol use on college campuses.
As leaders in the treatment of youth and young adult addiction, the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy is interested in obtaining proprietary national data on youth and young adult drug awareness and use. More specifically, Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy wants to uncover (1) young people’s knowledge about opioids, (2) youth perceptions around the dangers of opioids, (3) how young people perceive a link between prescription pain medications and heroin, (4) degree to which young people view prescription opioids as easily obtainable, and, (5) views youth have for prescription opioids as a problem among their peer group.
The McFeed is a weekly roundup of news and research on the health and wellness of college students.