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Part 1 of 5: COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health

The impact of COVID-19 has led to widespread concerns about its unique effects on college students' mental health. Surveys of college students conducted after March 2020 have repeatedly suggested that psychological distress among college students has increased. CCMH data, representing nearly 50,000 treatment-seeking students at 140+ institutions, suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on college students' mental health is considerably more nuanced than generally reported. To examine the impact of COVID-19 on mental health more thoroughly, using a broader range of longitudinal clinical data, CCMH will offer a five-part blog series to describe the impact of COVID-19 on college student mental health from multiple perspectives. While surveys offer an important perspective and provide an immediate snapshot of data, CCMH data is gathered methodically over time and then examined retrospectively. While this method requires patience for data to accumulate, it also provides a more robust population-level perspective (among students seeking services).

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2020 Annual Report

The 2020 Annual Report expands on the 2019 Annual Report that introduced the concept of the Clinical Load Index (CLI). The 2020 Annual Report provides an updated CLI distribution representing more colleges and universities and describes differences in counseling center practices at the low and high ends of the CLI distribution. 

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Spring 2020: COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health

COVID-19 has resulted in widespread concern about college-student’s mental health – both during the spring of 2020 and forecasting into the future. Recent surveys of college students have suggested that that college students’ psychological distress increased significantly following the COVID-19 response and shutdowns in March 2020. Because CCMH continuously pools national data from students seeking mental health services at college counseling centers, we were curious to see if our data support this hypothesis.

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