The Elephant in the Classroom: College Students' Perceptions of Mental Health and Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services on College Campuses

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Ong, Victoria Maria
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Middle Tennessee State University
One-quarter of all college students will experience a mental health problem throughout their college career. In response to this, colleges and universities have worked to improve mental health services on campuses. However, students still face barriers to accessing mental health services on college campuses. In this thesis, I focus on examining college students’ perceptions of mental health and barriers to accessing mental health services on college campuses. A total of 46 students were surveyed using survey monkey and asked both closed and open ended questions. A number of variables were used to measure perceptions, such as stigma, campus attitudes toward mental health, and barriers to accessing mental health services. Results from this study indicate that while most college students have a personal experience with mental health problems and believe that mental health problems are prevalent on their college campuses, barriers to accessing campus mental health services exist. College students in this study had confidence in campus mental health services, but felt that these barriers, such as stigma and a lack of mental health knowledge, often prevented students from accessing services.
College students, Mental health, Mental health resources