Here’s What Colleges and Universities are Doing to Support Student Mental Health

Mental health support matters. Especially in college, where more than half of students suffer from at least one mental health issue.

We recently shared six ways colleges and universities can improve mental health support for students. To share even more inspiration for leaders in higher education, here’s a list of real-life mental health programs from schools across the country:


Drexel University: Counseling Center and a “Check-Up From the Neck Up”

Drexel University’s counseling center offers same-day appointments, a 24-hour peer support program, drop-in appointments for BIPOC students, a fully furnished “wellness zone,” after-hours crisis support, and more. The University also added mental health screening kiosks to the recreation center so students can get a “check-up from the neck up.” If any needs extend beyond the school’s resources, a case manager can connect them with a larger network of providers.

University of California, Santa Barbara: The Happiness Challenge

UC Santa Barbara’s “Happiness Challenge” team hosts two positive psychology sessions per week. Students can join any time. The goal is to enhance meaning in students’ lives and build a community so people feel less alone. The University also hosts a year-round mental wellness book club.

College of William & Mary: Pet Therapy, Rides to Mental Health Appointments

In addition to its counseling center, the College of William & Mary offers 15 different wellness initiatives, including twice-weekly pet therapy sessions where students can interact with trained therapy dogs. Other initiatives include stress management classes, transportation to off-campus mental health appointments, art therapy, pop-up wellness events, and more.

UCLA: CAPS Program and Specialized Care for Underrepresented Students

As part of its CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) Program, the University of California, Los Angeles offers specialized services for LGBTQ+, AAPI, BIPOC, undocumented, and other underrepresented students. UCLA also hosts virtual workshops on topics such as resilience, body liberation, conflict resolution, and more. Plus, students have access to same-day clinical consultations.

Westminster College: Human Performance and Wellness Courses

Westminster lets students earn academic credit with courses designed to promote holistic wellness. There are nearly 30 classes for students to choose from – including mindfulness, hiking, lifelong wellness, SCUBA diving, meditation, and more.

Florida State University: Trauma and Resilience Certification

Florida State University lets students earn a certification on trauma and resilience. While the courses don’t count toward academic credit, they teach students to become more culturally competent and build resilience in themselves and the people they serve. The certification is also a good addition to a students’ resume – especially if their career plans involve things like social work, healthcare, or law.

Chabot College: Crisis Text Line and Dedicated Support Groups

As part of a service offered through the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Chabot students can text a crisis line 24/7 to chat with a trained crisis counselor. The college also offers short-term individual counseling (six sessions per semester) and support groups for Black students, emotional expression through music sessions, and more.

University of Virginia: WahooWell Program

The University of Virginia’s WahooWell program starts with a confidential survey and one-on-one meetings with a wellness facilitator. The meetings give students the opportunity to be heard, encouraged, and validated in a way that motivates them to accomplish personally meaningful goals.

Stanford University: Immediate Care and Well-Being Coaches

Stanford prioritizes immediate access to mental health support for its students. The University also created dedicated webpages with more information about topics like grief, spirituality, accessibility, harm reporting, social justice, and more. Students can also get partnered with a Stanford Well-Being Coach to support students in practical ways as they navigate their mental health.

University of California, Berkeley: Accessibility and Apps for All Students

UC Berkeley offers full mental health services to all enrolled students, regardless of their insurance plan. In addition to traditional counseling services, the school makes it easy for students to access a wide range of virtual tools and apps to help navigate issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc.

The more access students have to preventative or treatment services, the better equipped they’ll be for life after college. For more ideas about how higher education institutions can help support students, please start here.

Here’s What Colleges and Universities are Doing to Support Student Mental Health

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