Embedding mental health counselors on a college campus : assessing for early intervention effects




Balsan, Michael Jordan

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Rates of diagnosable mental health conditions in college populations constitute a mental health crisis for this population. Of the roughly 30% of college students who will experience a diagnosable mental health concern while enrolled in higher education, only 18% of those students will access treatment while enrolled (Eisenberg, Hunt, & Speer, 2012; Grant et al., 2003). One innovative approach for addressing this issue is embedding mental health providers in academic settings across college campuses. This approach potentially addresses the social and structural barriers to student help-seeking (McLeod & McLeod, 2015). Further, these programs are thought to promote early help-seeking in students from populations that are traditionally under-treated on college campuses (Boone et al., 2011). To date, little research has been conducted on such embedded programs. Further, research has inadequately addressed the question of whether these programs address the treatment-gap in specific student populations. Additionally, little information on the campus-wide impact of such programs has been published. The current study adds to this area of research through analysis using longitudinal archival data. This data was collected over 6 years of counseling records from an embedded counseling program and a traditional counseling center. The results of this study demonstrate a number of significant effects of embedding counselors in academic residence on students’ mental health and help-seeking at a large public college campus.


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