As Students Struggle With Mental Illness Colleges Act As Counselors

As students struggle with health issues or mental health issues colleges are having to adjust. A recent report in the NY Times highlights how colleges and universities alike are making adjustments.

“The email set off alarms at Ithaca College.

“I’m literally fighting for my life but staying safe,” 22-year-old Christopher Biehn emailed a professor in late September. “I won’t be in class today (or perhaps for a bit) & just pray I won’t be hospitalized long-term.”

As Mr. Biehn prepared to check into a psychiatric ward four hours from campus, a crisis team from the private liberal arts college in central New York swung into action. Shortly after Mr. Biehn wrote to his professor, a campus safety officer went to his apartment to make sure he was O.K. A social worker from the college reached out to discuss academic options as he worked to manage his bipolar disorder.

Two weeks later, after returning to his home in Medford, N.J., for treatment, he applied for a medical leave of absence from the college — his sixth leave in four years.”

From the outside it appears that more and more students are struggling to cope with the financial pressures that come with pursuing a college degree, and the rising cost of living that happens around so many urban centers where universities are.

Some colleges are not truly prepared to cope with student needs and others have plans in place in order to give the students the help they need.