Nov 1, 2012

Colleges refuse to learn Virginia Tech's mental health lessons

Five years after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, colleges still haven't learned to help students with mental illness.

Nearly two out of three college students who encounter mental health problems end up withdrawing from school, according to a new NAMI survey. Read NAMI's press release here.

According to the survey, students in trouble don't use counseling services, even if they are available. Disability services offices don't help them. Worst of all, faculty members still have not been trained to recognize or respond properly to mental health issues.

Apart from the violent consequences, and the routine academic failure of students who might succeed if they were accommodated, we are now sending thousands of veterans, many with post-traumatic stress disorder, to every college in the US, doomed to fail because campuses won't step up.

This is an outrage, a display of deliberate ignorance -- but there's a practical solution.

It takes a couple of hours to do basic mental health training, maybe half a day if you include suicide prevention. Every college campus has someone qualified to teach Psychology 101, plus someone who runs campus security.

If these two people can't put together an effective training program for your campus, call me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm over 50 and never thought I would go back to college for a masters in criminal justice administration. But I didn't want to utilize any of the college services and labeled. I wanted to prove that I was in recovery and could do it on my own after being diagnosed with a serious mental illness 27 years ago. But I had to learn my weaknesses, like reading slower than others with concentration issues and I tend to do too much researching that takes a lot of time to be perfect and for my own interest. I needed to devote my entire time to do my 2 classes, both day and night, which is difficult if you're juggling with a job and life!