• Health and Well-Being
  • Report
  • Higher Ed

Student Mental Health on Campus: A Review of Claims

Heather Salko, Esq.
March 2021

Why Read This

An increasing number of college students have reported that their mental health issues — often anxiety, depression, or both — affect their academic work. As these reports increase, demands on campus services, such as counseling centers, likely will continue to grow. This pressure presents new challenges but is also an opportunity for colleges to proactively examine their practices related to student mental health.

United Educators (UE) reviewed and analyzed 223 claims related to student mental health — including attempted and completed suicides — received from January 2011 through December 2016. Use the data and lessons from the claims to help your institution understand the risks associated with mental health issues and measures for managing them.

Note, this report focuses on general mental health claims while a companion piece, Student Mental Health on Campus: Claims Involving Suicidal Students, provides a more detailed view of suicide-related claims.

Key Takeaways

  • Students suffering from general mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, drove 32% of the claims and 57% of the losses.
  • The claims revealed that many students need more guidance on their rights and responsibilities under disability accommodations policies in higher education.
  • Failure to follow through with approved accommodations may result in liability from a disability discrimination claim.
  • Develop policies for voluntary and involuntary medical leave and return options.
  • Publicizing counseling resources is essential.

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