The U of A is Offering Mental Health Services to Students


University of Arkansas

Mallory Alcocer, West and Local News

        Mental health is a very important topic that is not discussed enough on college campuses.  Mental illness is very common among students today, as reported by mental health research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): one in four students have a diagnosable mental illness, 80% feel overwhelmed by responsibilities, and 50% have become so anxious that they struggle in school. According to The American Psychological Association, “Since the 1990s, university and college counseling centers have been experiencing a shift in the needs of students seeking counseling services from developmental and informational needs to psychological problems.”

        This is why the University of Arkansas offers mental health services to students. The Pat Walker Health Center offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The CAPS programs and services are designed to meet the academic, developmental, remedial and preventive needs of the campus community. Their staff consists of professionally licensed psychologists, professional counselors, clinical social workers, as well as board-certified psychiatrists. 

        The American College Health Association National College Health Assesment found that 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function.” Taking care of mental health is a necessity for college students, The U of A claims “We, the University Health Services Staff of the Pat Walker Health Center, have a commitment to physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional health, the highest standards of quality and appreciation of the value of each individual.” The CAPS program helps many students and staff by offering Short-term individual counseling, Psychiatry, Group Therapy & Workshops, 24-hour Emergency Services, Case Management, Outreach & Prevention, Advocacy, Consultations, and a Training Program. 

        The University of Arkansas helps students with mental health in many different ways, and with many different problems. While depression is the No.1 reason students drop out of school, it is not the only thing that affects mental health. CAPS offers Mental Health screenings to determine if a student or staff member should speak with a mental health professional. They also help students dealing with Body Image & Eating Disorders, Relationships, PTSD, and Diversity. On the CAPS website gives students access to helpful resources for LGBTQ Students, Non-Traditional Students, and first Generation Students. 

        This is so important because this really helps students stay in school, and helps to keep a healthy mental state of mind.