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Subjects

mental health, mental health service access, student health, university population

Abstract

College students are dealing with serious mental health issues and represent an important population to access when providing mental health services. Though most universities provide free mental health counseling services, many students are unaware or reluctant to use those services. Many factors contribute to this reluctance such as lack of knowledge about services and perceived stigma. Though many studies have shown that women are both diagnosed with anxiety and depression more often than men as well as seek mental health counseling more than men, few have identified the reasons for this disparity and examined the gender differences in collegiate men and women’s usage of on-campus mental health services. This study seeks to add to the existing body of literature on college student mental health by identifying barriers to mental health service access at a large public university, while uniquely focusing on identifying barriers for both men and women and how those barriers might differ. This study used a self-report survey administered online to 37 students at a large Pacific Northwest university. The survey assessed knowledge of services, perceived need for services, actual usage of services, as well as reasons for non-use. Results suggest that students prefer to utilize off-campus counseling services rather than on-campus services.

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