The demand for campus mental health services is increasing. From 2007 to 2017, the percentage of college students receiving mental health treatment jumped from 19% to 34%. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health‘s 2018 Annual Report, utilization of college counseling centers increased by 30-40% between 2009 and 2015 while enrollment only increased by 5%. Seeking mental health support has become more accepted and normalized over the past several years. As mental health stigma decreases, demand for services increases.
Students are seeking care in record numbers, but colleges are struggling to meet this demand. Many college counseling centers are underfunded, understaffed, and overwhelmed. As a result, some students aren’t receiving the mental health care they need while they’re away at school. Counseling centers are often operating on long waitlists or referring students off-campus for care. But what if they can’t wait? What if they don’t have a car? And what about off-campus providers’ long waitlists?
How can we better serve our students?
Technology is everywhere. Recent research suggests that the vast majority of college-aged Americans own a smartphone. Recent research also shows that teletherapy, the online delivery of therapy services using live video conferencing, is as effective in treating mental health and substance use conditions as traditional face-to-face therapy. See what I’m getting at here?
With a rise in access to technology, and with technology’s ever-improving ability to streamline our daily processes, we should be using technology to meet our students’ mental health needs.
That’s exactly what UniWellness is doing. Using the technology you already own, college students in Virginia can meet with a UniWellness mental health counselor quickly, easily, and conveniently. There’s no commute and no waitlist — just you, your computer or smartphone, and your counselor.