Monitor on Psychology - September 2011 - (Page 18)

Government relatIons update The crisis on campus APA is working with Congress to address serious mental health problems on college campuses. s ince the mid-1990s, there has been an alarming trend on college campuses nationwide: an increase in the number of students seeking help for serious mental health problems at campus counseling centers. In the past decade this shift has not only solidified, but it also has reached increasingly higher levels. The 2010 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors (NSCCD) found that 44 percent of counseling center clients had severe psychological problems, a sharp increase from 16 percent in 2000. The most common of these disorders were depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, alcohol abuse, eating disorders and self-injury. A 2010 survey of students by the American College Health Association found that 45.6 percent of students surveyed reported feeling hopeless, and 30.7 percent reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function during the past 12 months. While depression and anxiety consistently rank as the most common mental disorders treated at college counseling centers, an often overlooked but equally serious problem is the rising number of students struggling with eating disorders, substance abuse and self-injury. The NSCCD study found that 24.3 percent of college counseling center directors have noticed more clients with eating disorders, 39.4 percent have noted an increased number of clients suffering from self-injury issues and 45.7 percent College counseling centers are seeing a rise in the number of students struggling with eating disorders, substance abuse and self-injury, according to a new survey. have reported an increased number of clients struggling with alcohol abuse. As grim as these statistics are, however, these percentages are probably even higher since students with substance abuse and eating disorders are less likely to seek treatment at counseling centers than students with depression and anxiety disorders. Congress recognized the need to take action in addressing this growing mental health crisis on college campuses in 2004 with the passage of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The law created three programs to address the mental and behavioral health needs of young people: Campus Suicide Prevention, State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and the Technical Assistance Center. These programs have made a significant difference in addressing the issue of suicide, the second leading cause of death among college students and third leading cause of death for young Americans ages 15 to 24. APA’s members were instrumental in developing the idea for the Campus Suicide Prevention initiative, which provides education and outreach related to suicide prevention on college 18 Monitor on psychology • septeMber 2011 By ARiELLE EiSER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - September 2011

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Supreme Court hears psychologists on prison and video game cases
Antipsychotics are overprescribed in nursing homes
New MCAT likely to recognize the mind-body connection
A $2 million boost for military and families
In Brief
On Your Behalf
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Speaking of Education
An uncertain future for American workers
Advocating for psychotherapy
Seared in our memories
Helping kids cope in an uncertain world
APA and Nickelodeon team up
Muslims in America, post 9/11
Bin Laden’s death
‘They expect us to be there’
Answering the call of public policy
Candidates answer final questions
APA News
Division Spotlight
New leaders
Disaster relief training
Honoring teaching excellence

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011