UC Campuses Face Shortage of Mental Health Resources
The University of California lacks the necessary resources to treat the growing number of students with mental health illnesses, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The number of students seeking mental health counseling at the eight main UC campuses increased 23% between 2000-2001 and 2004-2005, according to the Times.
The increase reflects a nationwide trend that university psychologists and officials attribute to the growing stress of college life and the increasing number of students who already are receiving treatment for a mental illness when they enroll in college.
The UC Student Mental Health Committee in a September 2006 report to the Board of Regents called for "aggressive intervention" to:
- Increase spending on mental health services;
- Double the counseling staff; and
- Adopt dozens of recommendations to boost campus mental health care.
The report's findings prompted the Regents in March to designate half of a 7% increase in student registration fees for mental health services. However, the amount -- $4.6 million next year -- only will enable UC to hire a fraction of the number of psychologists the panel recommended.
The university has about one psychologist for every 2,300 students, but the International Association of Counseling Services guideline is one psychologist for every 1,000 to 1,500 students (Paddock, Los Angeles Times, 5/23). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.