Essential Pittsburgh
4:36 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Increasing Need for Mental Health Professionals in College Counseling Centers

Students are using psychiatric medicines from a very young age. Colleges & Universities need enough mental health resources to provide proper counseling for these students.
Students are using psychiatric medicines from a very young age. Colleges & Universities need enough mental health resources to provide proper counseling for these students.
Credit Kiran Foster / Flickr

On college campuses across the country, mental health is becoming an increasing concern. In the past year, one in five students have received a psychiatric diagnosis or been treated for mental health issues.

As a result, there is a rising demand for mental health professionals to provide the proper treatment for students. According to Tevya Zukor, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Counseling Center, there's an increased need because of the de-stigmatization of mental health issues among the public.

He says students are seeking treatment at earlier ages and many come into college with a history of mental health treatment. A second reason is that in the past 10 to 15 years there have been huge advancements in psychotropic medicine.

“Students who may not have been able to even attempt college are now being able to not only enroll in college but also to be successful,” says Zukor.

But in order to be successful, they require the proper support system to provide the treatment and services they need. He says, there’s also increased student stress as as result of recent economic and political uncertainty. With parents losing jobs and an extremely competitive job market after graduation, students face very real challenges.

In struggling to navigate these challenges, more students are seeking the help of mental health professionals. Universities must therefore allocate money to hire enough medical professionals and provide the services needed.

“We’re lucky that the University of Pittsburgh is very responsive to that,” says Zukor.