One of the issues that we face as faculty and staff at a University is dealing with students who are leaving home for the first time, dealing with new and existing health issues,and who are learning how to deal with the issues surrounding college life. This can be overwhelming and may lead to serious mental health issues. At the University of Arkansas we have the Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS) to help faculty, staff, and students deal with the many mental health issues that they may face.  The goal of CAPS “is to provide high quality clinical, outreach, consultation, training, and research services to the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Arkansas. CAPS designs these services to meet the academic, developmental, remedial, and preventive needs of the university community.goal is to provide students.”

CAPS offers many services such as:

  • Emergency Services
  • Psychiatry
  • Intake/Assessments
  • Case Management
  • Individual Therapy
  • Outreach and Prevention
  • Group Therapy
  • Clinical Consultation Services (RazorCat team,  Threat Assessment Team)
  • for a complete list of services visit the CAPS website.

 Suicide Prevention

Suicide is also a serious risk among College students. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health’s (CCMH) 2016 Annual Report:

  • 1 out of 4 students seen at a counseling center has self-injured
  • 1 out of 3 has considered suicide
  • Nearly 1 out of 10 has made a suicide attempt
  • 1 out of 10 has been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons

Suicide now ranks as the 2nd leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds, and it is estimated that 1,100 completed suicides occur on college campuses each year.

However, CAPS can help. According to the CAPS Client Survey, Spring, 2016:

  • 72% of survey respondents reported that their experience at CAPS allowed them to be more successful academically.
  • 79% reported that coming to CAPS positively affected the chances that they would stay in school and graduate from U of A
  • 16% reported that they likely would have withdrawn for mental health reasons if they had not gone to CAPS

 What can you do to help?

Complete the training at Kognito.  Kognito is a “science-driven and research-proven approach” that creates “simulated conversations with virtual humans where people learn, practice and self-assess their ability to manage conversations that can lead to positive changes in social, emotional, and physical health.” Their website is designed to help faculty, staff, and students identify and refer distressed students to the appropriate resources. For the University of Arkansas that is generally Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Pat Walker Health Center.

For more information on Kognito, visit our TIPS article: Kognito – Helping Distressed Students

This content was developed from a presentation by Josette Cline, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services which was sponsored by The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center (TFSC) at the University of Arkansas.

The presentation can be downloaded and viewed as a PDF: TFSC College Student Mental Health: Distressed Students and How to Help Them. (PDF)