National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Mental Health on Campus

October 21, 2009

According to National Public Radio, recent national surveys of campus therapists indicate that an unprecedented number of college students are requesting psychiatric help.

Many students are flourishing, but some do need significant support to manage their illnesses on campus.

While researchers have not explored all the reasons behind the rise, they point out that young adults today are not necessarily more likely to have mental health problems than students in the past. Better mental health screening and earlier diagnosis before college are some factors that may explain the rise.

"NAMI is pleased to see National Public Radioís (NPR) story highlighting the dramatic increase in the number of students with mental illness on our nationís college and university campuses and their commitment to an ongoing story on this important topic. Higher education is the foundation that allows young adults to ultimately lead independent and productive lives, especially important for those with mental illnesses," says Michael J. Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director."

"Over a number of years, NAMI has worked to develop resources and programs that address the needs of college students. The NAMI on Campus clubs, student-run and led organizations, focus on improving the lives of students directly and indirectly affected by mental illness. These clubs play an invaluable role for students with mental illness by increasing awareness of mental health services on campus and eliminating the stigma faced by many students."

"NAMI is also building an online social networking Web site and online resource center for college age students. Research shows that many in this age group seek mental health information and support online and this site will offer just that," continues Fitzpatrick.

"NAMI applauds all those college students across the country who are coming forward to share their stories about living with mental illness. It is by putting a face on mental illness that we can show bright and shining lives and dispel myths and stereotypes. Fighting stigma has long been a hallmark of NAMIís work."

Additional Resources

NAMI Child and Adolescent Action Center

NAMI on Campus