National Alliance on Mental Illness
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December 7, 2004

Campus Mental Health Services Expanding

USA Today highlights NAMI study on need for mental health services on campus asnd student willingness to access them.  This trend can be attributed to several things including a recent rise in suicides on several campuses, students acquiring mental health diagnoses before attending college and requiring services, and increased acceptance and understanding of mental health issues.  Earlier this year NAMI, in conjunction with Abbott Laboratories, commissioned a study to better understand the issues surrounding mental illness and bipolar disorder.  This study surveyed over 1000 college students, over 1000 parents of college students, and nearly 300 individuals with bipolar disorder.  Some key findings from this study include:

  • One in three students report having experienced periods of prolonged depression.
  • One in four students report having suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • One in seven students report engaging in abnormally reckless behavior.
  • One in seven students report having trouble functioning due to mental illness.

Parents and students alike do not realize the enormous consequences of untreated bipolar disorder.

  • Nearly one in four parents and students do not agree that untreated bipolar disorder can lead to suicide, but other studies show as many as 50 percent of people with untreated bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.
  • More than one in four parents and students do not understand that untreated bipolar disorder can lead to contact with the criminal justice system, yet other sources show that people with untreated mental illnesses spend twice as much time in jail than non-ill individuals.

Read the full article in USAToday.  (Opens in a new window)

Resources from NAMI:

NAMI on Campus -- start or join a NAMI affiliate on your college campus

College Discussion Group -- connect online with other college students