Supporting College Student Mental Health: Parents’ Perspectives

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.