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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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Sexual Minority Clients in College Counseling Centers

The Center for Collegiate Mental Health, a practice research network of over 650 university and college counseling centers, has produced many publications looking at mental health distress and treatment outcomes for different populations and demographic groups seeking services at counseling centers. One of the populations that has been frequently studied is LGBTQ+ students. In this blog, we summarize our findings related to this population with hopes that it will be helpful to clinicians working with college students.

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Differences in Presenting Concerns by Demographic and Identity Group

People are often curious about how the mental health concerns of students seeking treatment at college counseling centers differ by demographic and identity characteristics. In this blog, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) examines that question using data from the self-reported client demographics items in the Standardized Data Set (SDS) and the Clinician Index of Client Concerns (CLICC), a checklist of possible presenting problems that is completed by the clinician after evaluating a student who is seeking mental health services. When completing the CLICC, the clinician can check all relevant concerns from a list of more than 50 problem areas. There is often an assumption that certain demographic identity groups disproportionately experience higher rates of all mental health concerns across the board. In reality, the picture is much more nuanced. This blog examines the differences in rate of clinician assessed presenting concerns across the following demographic characteristics:

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Part 3 of 5: Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on Various Demographic Groups

The impact of COVID-19 has led to widespread concerns about its unique effects on college students’ 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 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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