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Fall 2021: COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health

In February 2021, CCMH released a 5-part blog series that examined the initial impacts of COVID-19 on college students seeking treatment for mental health concerns. In Blog 2 of 5, CCMH compared student distress levels before and after the onset of COVID-19 using data from Fall 2019 and Fall 2020.  This blog expands on those analyses and explores the following questions using updated data from Fall 2021.

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Exploring the Role of Discrimination in Black College Student Clients

The recent racial uprisings in the U.S., coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, have given renewed attention to the daily manifestations of racism and racial inequities that operate in American society. Race, which is a human invention lacking a valid biological basis, has very real consequences for people from historically racially marginalized groups. Public perceptions of the presence and importance of racism suggest that racism is wide-spread and affects people of color disproportionately, particularly Black people (Pew Research Center, 2016). Indeed, recent data from the FBI found that in 2020, Black people accounted for approximately one third of people targeted by hate-based crimes due to their race (FBI, n.d.). Anti-Black racism, which describes the historical dehumanization of Black bodies, is particularly pernicious and has been shown to make Black people acutely susceptible to the harmful impacts of racism, particularly on mental health.

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Assessing Sleep Difficulty in University Counseling Centers: What Happens when Clients and Clinicians Disagree?

This blog is a summary of a sleep research article recently accepted for publication that used CCMH data.

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Part 2 of 5: Mental Health Changes after the Onset of COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has led to widespread concerns about its unique effects on college student’s mental health. To examine this topic more broadly, CCMH is completing a five-part blog series using a wide range of longitudinal clinical data from students seeking mental health services at college counseling centers nationally.

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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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Exploring the Relationship Between Client Risk Factors and Telehealth Services in College Counseling Centers

In March 2020, college counseling centers, along with many other healthcare facilities across the United States, encountered the unprecedented challenge of rapidly transitioning to tele-services in response to COVID-19. To accomplish this feat, counseling centers promptly transformed their in-person care to tele-services in a matter of days/weeks. While most college counseling centers continue to provide telehealth during the 2020-2021 academic year, many questions have emerged regarding the sustained utilization of tele-services within college counseling centers in the future. Some of the most common questions include: (a) will tele-services, at least in some capacity, become a permanent part of counseling center services?; (b) will some colleges/universities delegate a portion of traditional in-person counseling services to external telehealth vendors?; and (c) given tele-services are the most prominent current mode of treatment, what proportion of students seeking counseling center services possess risk factors that make them a poor fit for tele-services?

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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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