FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2007 to 2017, there was an increase in the rates of mental health treatment and diagnosis among college students and a decrease in stigma, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Psychiatric Services.

Sarah Ketchen Lipson, Ph.D., Ed.M., from the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues used 10 years of data from the Healthy Minds Study, which included 155,026 students from 196 campuses, to examine mental health service utilization by college students.

The researchers observed significant increases in the rates of mental health treatment and diagnosis. From 2007 to 2017, the rate of treatment increased from 19 to 34 percent, and an increase from 22 to 36 percent was seen in the percentage of students with lifetime diagnoses. Increases were also seen in depression and suicidality, while there was a decrease in stigma.

“We found that utilization increased substantially over the past decade, with much of this burden falling to campus counseling centers,” the authors write. “To better meet the mental health care demand from students and reduce strain on existing services, campuses may wish not only to expand capacity but also to increase the use of preventive and digital mental health services, such as those delivered via mobile apps.”

One author disclosed receiving consulting fees from Actualize Therapy.

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