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College Students' Utilization of Campus Mental Health Services: The Role of Faculty and Staff
Human Development and Family Studies
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College is a stressful transition for many students who are learning to deal with pressures away from their support system. The purpose of this project was to explore the role of faculty and campus staff in referring students to campus mental health resources. This mixed-methods, exploratory study uses a quantitative and qualitative approach. Students and faculty and campus staff were surveyed to examine the role that faculty and campus staff have in students’ utilization of campus mental health resources, whether students seek help from or disclose mental health concerns to faculty and campus staff, and what barriers and supports students perceive as preventing or helping students access campus mental health resources. Faculty and staff do play a role in students’ utilization of campus mental health resources because students reported that the most common way they learn about on-campus resources is from a faculty or staff member. Students are also disclosing mental health issues to faculty and staff members, especially professors and instructors, resident advisors, and academic advisors. Most students have never sought or received mental health services, and are also not currently receiving services. Students felt that lack of awareness, personal barriers, system barriers, and mental health stigma prevent students from utilizing campus mental health resources. This study has implications for faculty and campus staff training and student outreach methods. Students who are disclosing to faculty or staff members most often choose professors and instructors, resident assistants, and academic advisors. These faculty and staff should have some knowledge about mental health resources and protocol for dealing with students that may be experiencing a crisis or need help. However, most students who could benefit from campus resources are not disclosing mental health issues or seeking treatment. The main barriers that students felt prevented students who could benefit from campus mental health resources from utilizing the