Student mental health is more important than ever, and college presidents are beginning to take notice.

Here’s what college presidents are saying about student mental health and well-being

Student mental health is a daily headline, and higher-ed leaders know it needs to be a campus priority

Attention to student mental health has increased

According to national data from the Healthy Minds Study, student mental health concerns have escalated over the last 10 years. We wanted to know how presidents were responding to this increase. To assess short-term changes, we asked presidents to reflect on the last three years on their campus and whether they have observed an increase, decrease, or no change in how they prioritize mental health.

Eight out of 10 presidents indicated that student mental health has become more of a priority on their campus than it was three years ago. As one president wrote, “Mental health has become a major issue for retention and the general well-being of our students . . . This is in my top three areas of improvement for my college.”

Presidents at public four-year institutions (87 percent) were more likely to indicate it had become more of a priority than presidents at other types of colleges and universities.

As concern about student mental health has grown over the last three years, roughly seven out of 10 presidents (72 percent) reported they had reallocated or identified additional funding to address the issue. Presidents at four-year institutions were more likely to have identified or reallocated funding than presidents at public two-year colleges. One president reported raising $15 million to build a “comprehensive student well-being building.”

[Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of a much more detailed blog post on the research, reposted here with permission. This post originally appeared on Higher Education Today, a blog by the American Council on Education. The original post can be found here in its entirety.]

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