Experts Advocate Proactive Mental Health Support in Campuses

Experts Advocate Proactive Mental Health Support in Campuses

Mental heath support in college

There are a lot of higher education institutions that provide mental health services and programs to their students. Yet apparently, this is still not enough.

Due to the effect of the pandemic, mental health experts are advocating a more proactive approach to students’ mental health. Experts urge campuses to take the initiative in starting discourses and offering the help they need. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Mental health professionals are pushing for preemptive outreach on students’ mental health.
  • Experts urge students to speak up about their mental health issues.
  • There is a call for campus service providers to be culturally sensitive in meeting students’ needs.

As the world reels from the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread mental health problems among students in colleges and universities around the world are exposed even more than before. Due to numerous lockdowns, social distancing, and remote learning, students are reportedly facing anxiety and depression.

Mental health experts warned that more and more students were struggling but were not reporting their symptoms and getting professional help.

Even before the pandemic, handling mental health issues was a common problem, especially for international students since they are more familiar with feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is also possible that they have difficulty locating the medical systems of their host country or are fearful of not being able to pay for the services available. Also, mental health stigma is still a thing for some cultures.

Elizabeth Rowe, GeoBlue’s Director of clinical services, discusses the relationship of international education to mental health and advocates for a more proactive approach. Rowe also encourages students to be open about it.

“One of the most important things is to be proactive. If you are getting ready to travel abroad, be as candid as possible by identifying what medications you’re on, what specialists you might need to see, and what you, in particular, find supportive,” Rowe says in a news report.

“That may help school administrators identify resources, as, if people know about these needs, they can ensure the appropriate supports are in place,” she added.

As a result, there has been an increased demand for staff at higher education institutions to reach out to international students to provide them with information about mental health support on campus.

Cultural and linguistic barriers prevent some students from obtaining mental health services on campus. Campus service providers are encouraged to be culturally responsive in meeting the students’ needs to address the issue and employ a more proactive approach. Mental health providers are encouraged to be culturally competent to serve better a diverse population of students needing support. 

Even though it is known that many academic institutions have implemented support systems for students, the effects of those programs are not that visible. Experts believe that group and individual support must be better targeted.

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