While many people can recall their college days as being "the best days" of their lives, college is never stress-free. From completing last-minute papers, to studying for midterms and finals or dealing with a stressful breakup, students are expected to balance many social, academic and extracurricular responsibilities. For some, there are many positive lessons to be learned from the college experience, but the 2014 National Survey of College Counseling Centers reports a drastic increase in college students with severe psychological problems. Colleges now have trouble keeping up with the demand for mental health services. Up to 83 percent of colleges may deny treatment for students who possess problems beyond the capabilities of the staff. To tackle the issue, Drexel University has taken initiative in reaching out to struggling students by installing mental-health kiosks on campus.
Drexel University, the first U.S. college to install a "mental health kiosk," uses a high-tech, polarized device similar to a tablet computer and is stationed in the highly-populated Student Recreation Center. Using touch-screen technology, students, faculty/professional staff and even members of the general public are able to stop and "Get a Check-up from the Neck-up." The program goes through a series of questions that assesses individuals' state of mind and feelings, generates a "suggested result" and provides referral information based on the respondent's answers. It screens for six potential issues: depression, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder, alcohol use, eating disorder, and anxiety. When it comes professional training, The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors reports that 58.5 percent of colleges offer insufficient formal or informal training. With this new technology, Drexel's Associate Dean in the Office of Counseling and Health hopes that high-risk students will be better assisted.
Funded by a $5,000 grant through the Thomas Scattergood Behavior Health Foundation in Philadelphia, the mental health kiosk is the second debuted in Philadelphia. Do you think this would be effective in tackling issues of increased mental health issues amongst college students? Also, do you have the requisite patience and empathy to help those suffering from mental or other disorders? If you have a passion for helping people, check out scholarships for
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