Home Campus Life Stigma Stops College Students from Seeking Mental Health Care

Stigma Stops College Students from Seeking Mental Health Care

University of California, Berkeley
For illustration purpose only. Photo: UC Berkeley News Center

Many college students don’t seek assistance for mental health issues from campus counselors due to the stigma attached to it, a new report by META, a teletherapy tech company, revealed.

The company surveyed 191 adults, ages 18 to 29, for its “Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services and Support on Campus” report. Overall, 81 percent of students suffer from various mental health conditions. More than half of them experience depression and anxiety, while 38 percent suffer from suicidal thoughts.

Nearly half of the students reported stigma as a barrier to accessing mental health services and support on campus. Busy schedules, lack of information and hours of service were other mentioned reasons acting as barriers to accessing mental health care options on campus.

About 74 percent of respondents reported having an on-campus counseling center, but most of them were not happy with it. Some 80 percent of those surveyed said that they did not feel totally comfortable with it, while 40 percent believed the delivery options for those services were lacking.

“Better availability of accessible mental health services is needed now more than ever. Students who experience anxiety and stress for the first time in college are not clear about how to, and when to, get help. Stigma continues to plague them,” said Balaji “Raj” Rajan, CEO of META.

“University leadership continues to find innovative and cost-effective solutions and we expect META to be a model that bridges the gap between funding and on-demand access to their students.”

When it comes to dealing with mental health issues, 89 percent of students plan to choose their own therapist, while 96 percent term medical insurance as an important source to pay for counseling sessions.

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