acpa position on Mental Health
ACPA College Student Educators-International is committed to promoting the dignity and well being of students. As mental health concerns on college campuses around the world continue to increase, further developing institutions of higher education, our membership including student affairs professionals and college student educators will continue to stand on the frontline, offering support to students in need.
Scholarly work outlines a large increase in students with documented disabilities on the college campus, attributing the rise in students seeking help and resources for mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.6
A 2015 report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 64% of university student dropouts cited problems related to mental illness, 45% reporting they did not receive accommodation from their universities. It is more important than ever to break the stigma associated with mental illness, and reach out to students in need. The student affairs profession must prepare to serve affected students compassionately and effectively, and to follow federal law which mandates that schools must offer reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities. Specific institutional approaches to addressing this need may include increasing the accessibility and quality of campus counseling services. One accessibility option to consider is the use of web-based treatments which were found to be equally, if not more effective than in-person services without a decrease in participant satisfaction.
It is our job as representatives of college student educators, administrators and student affairs professionals to help students thrive. ACPA will continue to learn how to best serve communities impacted by mental health challenges, and will continue to promote awareness for these conditions, specifically for students of marginalized identities and backgrounds, who are often more prone to mental health conditions as a result of environmental stressors.
6 Colleges Bend the Rules for More Students, Give them Extra Help. (2018, May 24). Dow Jones Institutional News
Additional resources on this issue:
- ACPA Coalition for Disability
- Community for Accredited Online Schools: Promoting Student Mental Health
- American Psychological Association: Campus Mental Health
- Center for Online Education: comprehensive list of critical mental health resources for college students
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- JED Campus Model for Comprehensive Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities
This statement contains external links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the convenience of ACPA-College Student Educators International (ACPA) members. While ACPA strives to make the information as accurate as possible, we make no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or adequacy of its contents.