Recent reports have found that overall mental health is declining on college campuses. CAS offers resources for institutions to better support the well-being of students and staff.
Several recent studies have focused on the increasingly prevalent concern of the mental health of college students. A survey of NASPA members by NASPA and Uwill found that 72% of student affairs professionals have seen a decline of the mental health of both students and staff on their campus in the past year. To address the growing issue, many believe their institution should increase its financial commitment to mental health, including expanding mental health and counseling services.
A separate study conducted by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation found that over 40% of students in higher education programs considered withdrawing from their coursework for at least one term. More than half of the students who considered stopping their studies cited emotional stress and personal mental health as reasons. Stress and declining mental health are not only struggles faced by students enrolled in university. The Lumina Foundation-Gallup study also found that young adults who never pursued higher education considered stress and personal mental health as important reasons in their decision-making.
With mental health impacting the young adult population in increasing rates, it is crucial for higher education institutions to provide adequate mental health services to their student population. CAS offers resources to student affairs professionals with a set of standards to evaluate and improve the quality of their institutions' mental health and counseling services. A revised set of standards for Counseling Services was released by CAS in 2020. The standards reflect additional clarification with regard to the relationship between Counseling Services and crisis response, outreach, clinical case management, conduct, consultation with stakeholders, and training expectations for Counseling Services professionals. They are available in the CAS store at https://store.cas.edu/counseling-services-standards/.
CAS also offers a Cross-Functional Framework for Advancing Health and Well-Being to address the complex issues of health, well-being, flourishing, and thriving of college students in the context of a healthy community. The CFF for AHWB guides the design of cross-functional teams that work across organizational boundaries and details the processes needed to move the campus toward greater well-being. The Framework's focus on excellence in collaborative practice and optimal design makes it an essential tool for presidents, vice presidents, and those responsible for leading cross-functional processes. This resource can be found in the CAS store at https://store.cas.edu/cross-functional-framework-for-advancing-health-and-well-being/.
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