CHFA | Psychology Department Showcase: Completed Projects

Title

Mental Health Services on MSU Campus

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Spanish

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Malm

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Problem/ Purpose

Across American college campuses, the number of college students reporting feelings of depression to the point of inability to function is on the rise from 19% in 2007 to 34% in 2017 (Lipson et al., 2018). Lifetime mental health diagnoses amongst college students have also risen from 22% to 36% (Lipson et al., 2018). Unfortunately, studies have shown that less than half of adults in the US seek out mental health services due to financial issues and the stigma that still lingers around getting therapy. The number of college students who choose to pursue mental health services on campuses is even less (Green et al., 2020). This study sought to examine student awareness of mental health services on the Murray State University (MSU) Campus, as well as therapy preference (in-person, text, or online therapy). It was hypothesized that students would prefer online therapy compared to in-person or text therapy. Secondly, student awareness of services would significantly vary by academic programs and colleges. Data from MSU students were collected between the Fall of 2021 and the Spring of 2022. There were 368 respondents. The majority of participants were female (77%), with an average age of 20 years (Range: 18-50; SD = 5.05). Of all participants, 83% were Caucasian, 8% were African American, and 3% were Multiracial. While each year was fairly represented the majority were first-year students ( 40%). Finally, the five main schools/colleges of MSU were represented. Preliminary results showed that, contrary to our expectations, students prefer in-person therapy over text and online therapy (the least popular preference). Secondly, participants from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, followed by participants from the College of Education and Human Services were the most aware of MSU counseling services. Additional findings related to awareness revealed that 57% of MSU college students did not know how to start the process of seeking out mental health services on campus. Additionally, the majority of the participants were not aware of the number of counseling centers on campus, while 40% did not know that the mental health services provided by MSU were free. Our findings provide insight into students’ perceptions of mental health services and provide practical strategies to promote and increase campus awareness of counseling services for students.

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Psychology: Completed Projects

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Mental Health Services on MSU Campus

Problem/ Purpose

Across American college campuses, the number of college students reporting feelings of depression to the point of inability to function is on the rise from 19% in 2007 to 34% in 2017 (Lipson et al., 2018). Lifetime mental health diagnoses amongst college students have also risen from 22% to 36% (Lipson et al., 2018). Unfortunately, studies have shown that less than half of adults in the US seek out mental health services due to financial issues and the stigma that still lingers around getting therapy. The number of college students who choose to pursue mental health services on campuses is even less (Green et al., 2020). This study sought to examine student awareness of mental health services on the Murray State University (MSU) Campus, as well as therapy preference (in-person, text, or online therapy). It was hypothesized that students would prefer online therapy compared to in-person or text therapy. Secondly, student awareness of services would significantly vary by academic programs and colleges. Data from MSU students were collected between the Fall of 2021 and the Spring of 2022. There were 368 respondents. The majority of participants were female (77%), with an average age of 20 years (Range: 18-50; SD = 5.05). Of all participants, 83% were Caucasian, 8% were African American, and 3% were Multiracial. While each year was fairly represented the majority were first-year students ( 40%). Finally, the five main schools/colleges of MSU were represented. Preliminary results showed that, contrary to our expectations, students prefer in-person therapy over text and online therapy (the least popular preference). Secondly, participants from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, followed by participants from the College of Education and Human Services were the most aware of MSU counseling services. Additional findings related to awareness revealed that 57% of MSU college students did not know how to start the process of seeking out mental health services on campus. Additionally, the majority of the participants were not aware of the number of counseling centers on campus, while 40% did not know that the mental health services provided by MSU were free. Our findings provide insight into students’ perceptions of mental health services and provide practical strategies to promote and increase campus awareness of counseling services for students.