Students of color aren’t getting the mental health help they need in college

January 22, 2016
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

HuffPost College

Recent research indicates that students of color are much less likely to seek help when they are feeling stressed or dealing with mental health issues compared to white students. The latter are more likely to feel academically and emotionally ready for college but are twice as likely to receive treatment for mental health concerns. A number of reasons, including racism, are being posited for this situation.  

During recent campus protests against racism, students have spoken up for better mental health services for minority students. When black students do use campus counseling centers they may not get the help they need because many white counselors do not know how to deal with the stress and anxiety that students experience due to racism, according to Ebony McGee, a researcher at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. "The field itself needs a better understanding of how racism itself challenges the mental health of black students in general," she said. To try to address the problem, the Jed Foundation and the Steve Fund are conducting a study to determine why minority students are less likely to use college mental health services and to identify campus programs that are promising or are already helping students of color who have mental health issues. 

Spark Extra! Check out the results of the national “First-Year College Experience” survey, which explores the challenges associated with the transition from high school to college for students of color. 

Populations:  Racial and Ethnic Groups
Settings:  Outpatient Mental Health, Colleges and Universities
Planning and Implementing:  Cultural Competence