Spot Check: Campus emergency alert systems across the country

A spot check of universities across the Midwest and around the nation has revealed that four-year institutions are inconsistent in their approach to sending out emergency alerts to students and staff. Although universities automatically send out emergency notifications via school email addresses, they vary on their policies and success for text alerts.

Mental health at county jail spark debate over services

The transition for mentally ill inmates from the Champaign County jail to community services is seriously hampered by a lack of coordination and communication between the jail officials and local mental health providers, according to a top county mental health official and a jail consultant hired by the county.

Demand still up for campus mental health services

In the wake of Sandy Hook and other school shootings of recent years, gun control advocates – and some politicians, including President Obama – have renewed a push for changes to existing gun laws.

Yet others say that mental health services, rather than gun reform, should be the focus

Demand for mental health services outpace University of Missouri’s resources

In the aftermath of the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, which left 33 people dead and 25 others wounded, Missouri’s Department of Homeland Security compiled a list of recommendations for universities to follow in order to decrease the likelihood of a similar attack occurring on a Missouri college campus.

Among the most important recommendations were calls for a higher percentage of counselors per student and for mental health counseling to be provided for students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mental health care on campus: Need up, services down

More college students are arriving on campus reporting serious mental health problems and more students are threatening suicide than in the past. But some college counseling services, such as those at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, are so understaffed that many students have to wait weeks before getting help.

Gaps persist in campus mental health services

A decade ago, Thomas Murphy was a college dropout who used alcohol and drugs to deal with undiagnosed depression. Now he’s back at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he co-leads a chapter of Active Minds, a national, student-run group promoting open conversations about mental illness. Therapy made the difference for Murphy. But he can’t receive it at school. When he re-enrolled at UW-Madison and went to the counseling center, he walked out with no appointment and a list of referrals.

University campus struggles to meet growing demand for mental health services

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is seeing more demand for mental health services but is struggling to meet that demand.

More of the university’s students are on psychiatric medication and more students are diagnosed with severe issues such as depression and anxiety than in years past.

Stressed: Mental health on campus – video stories

More students are coming to college with severe mental health disorders like bipolar, ADHD, depression and schizophrenia.

A 2010 national survey shows the number of students seeking counseling for severe psychological problems has more than doubled in the last 10 years. In the worse case scenario, such trends in mental health may cause students to become violent to themselves or others, if there is no early intervention and psychological services are not sought.

Student finds support in campus counseling center

Ball State University senior Krystel Brattain has been dealing with depression and bipolar disorder since she was in sixth grade. Eight years after her initial diagnosis, during her sophomore year of college, Brattain said she noticed her depression worsening. “I felt very tired, very sad,” she said. “I would cry randomly without any real triggers. I felt very alone.”

Those feelings led her to seek help at the Ball State Counseling Center.