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Community colleges surveyed on mental health services

January 26, 2012
by News release
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The American College Counseling Association's (ACCA) Community College Task Force (CCTF) has conducted a survey to gather benchmark data about common practices for personal/mental health counseling in community and two-year colleges.

In the survey, which explored how many of those colleges have trained counselors providing career counseling, 294 professional counselors who provide personal counseling in a community college setting were invited to participate.

In response to the needs of students 68% of community and two-year colleges provide mental health counseling services, of those providers 78% hold a graduate degree but only 37% hold LMCH/LPC licenses (35% hold no license).

Despite national data that reveals an increasing need for psychiatric services few than 13% of community and two-year colleges have psychiatric services available on campus. Other tasks are often assigned to mental health providers, 71% sit on behavioral intervention teams and 65% conduct suicide prevention efforts on campus.

Often (97% of the time) other services are being provided with mental health counseling, 78% participate in campus committees, 70% conduct academic advising and 68% career counseling.

It is critical to point out that the majority of the providers time is being spent in academic and career counseling, despite reporting increasing psychological need. Similar to their four year college/university peers 60% of mental health providers on community/2 year colleges report experiencing an increase in the intensity of clinical issues.

The same percentage, about 47%, of community or two-year college and four-year college therapists report having no session limits for students seeking services. Unfortunately for community and two-year colleges, the demands will continue to increase as the population utilizing community colleges raises, historically a trend that can be anticipated during times of recession.