Project Title

College Students and Mental Health Services

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Christopher T. Allen

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Mental health services (MHS) are a great resource provided by nearly all universities. College students’ counseling use has been found to improve their mental health and academic performance in addition to student retention (LeViness et al., 2019). However, even with these known benefits, MHS remain a vastly underutilized resource at higher education institutions across the country (Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 2020). The current study surveyed 404 undergraduate students at Kennesaw State University about their use of MHS, attitudes toward MHS, and perceived barriers to MHS use. Significant differences in use of MHS were found between demographic groups of class [F(4, 398) = 5.02, p = .001] and major [F(3, 399) = 5.36, p = .001]. Specifically, third-year students (M = .11, SD = .32) and biology majors (M = .07, SD = .27) were least likely to use MHS. There were no significant differences found between demographic groups and attitudes toward MHS. Past barriers were a significant predictor of MHS use and explained a significant proportion of the variance [R2 = .22, F(16, 386) = 6.94, p < .001]. The most common perceived barrier to receiving MHS in the past was that students were not sure if their problem was important/serious enough which was selected by almost half (44%) of the sample. The most common perceived barrier to receiving MHS in the future was financial reasons; also selected by almost half (44%) of the sample. These results can be used to develop and implement pointed outreach and intervention initiatives to improve MHS use, and ultimately, student mental health.

References

Center for Collegiate Mental Health. (2020, January). 2019 Annual Report (Publication No. STA 20-244).

LeViness, P., Gorman, K., Braun, L., Koenig, L., & Bershad, C. (2019). The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors Annual Survey: 2019. 56.

Project Type

Event

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College Students and Mental Health Services

Mental health services (MHS) are a great resource provided by nearly all universities. College students’ counseling use has been found to improve their mental health and academic performance in addition to student retention (LeViness et al., 2019). However, even with these known benefits, MHS remain a vastly underutilized resource at higher education institutions across the country (Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 2020). The current study surveyed 404 undergraduate students at Kennesaw State University about their use of MHS, attitudes toward MHS, and perceived barriers to MHS use. Significant differences in use of MHS were found between demographic groups of class [F(4, 398) = 5.02, p = .001] and major [F(3, 399) = 5.36, p = .001]. Specifically, third-year students (M = .11, SD = .32) and biology majors (M = .07, SD = .27) were least likely to use MHS. There were no significant differences found between demographic groups and attitudes toward MHS. Past barriers were a significant predictor of MHS use and explained a significant proportion of the variance [R2 = .22, F(16, 386) = 6.94, p < .001]. The most common perceived barrier to receiving MHS in the past was that students were not sure if their problem was important/serious enough which was selected by almost half (44%) of the sample. The most common perceived barrier to receiving MHS in the future was financial reasons; also selected by almost half (44%) of the sample. These results can be used to develop and implement pointed outreach and intervention initiatives to improve MHS use, and ultimately, student mental health.

References

Center for Collegiate Mental Health. (2020, January). 2019 Annual Report (Publication No. STA 20-244).

LeViness, P., Gorman, K., Braun, L., Koenig, L., & Bershad, C. (2019). The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors Annual Survey: 2019. 56.