College Consultation Service

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Why would you consider using the College Consultation Service?  College is often the first time students live independently from their parents.  The level of supervision on campus is less than it was at home.  For the first time in their lives, students are responsible for themselves at a time when they are stretched in many ways including intellectually, personally, and sexually.  Students’ responses to these challenges play a large part in determining the adults they become.

A growing body of evidence suggests that more students now struggle emotionally.  Utilization of on-campus counseling centers is rising.  Half of college students report having felt so depressed at some point they were unable to function.  Ten percent report having seriously considered suicide, and almost half binge drink.  Each year about 1,100 college students commit suicide and 1,700 die from alcohol related deaths.  More students now enter college diagnosed with psychiatric illness and receive medications.  One third of students surveyed are taking medication and fifteen percent report having been diagnosed with depression at some time.  Earlier and more effective treatments for children and adolescents allow students with more serious illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to pass high school and enter college.  Mental health resources in the community are limited and not readily available so students and their families turn to college counseling centers to treat more severe mental health conditions.  In 2006, five percent of colleges provided psychiatric services on campus.  By 2007, that number had risen to sixty-three percent.

Campus counseling centers are expert in helping students manage the developmental challenges in this period between youth and adulthood.  An academic psychiatry department has expertise in treating mental disorders and has expertise in procedural and policy issues raised by having students with mental illness on campus.  A collaborative relationship between the college counseling center and the university psychiatry department combines these respective strengths to offer a novel and comprehensive approach to help students successfully navigate this transition to adulthood.

Contact Us

Daniel Kirsch, MD
Department of Psychiatry
UMass Memorial Medical Center
361 Plantation St.
Worcester, MA. 01605
Phone: (508) 856-2537
Fax: (508) 856-3300
Daniel.Kirsch@umassmemorial.org

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