S(ave) O(ur) S(anity): An Evaluation of Students’ Experiences with Mental Health Resources and Support on the Texas State University Campus
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Mental health is a significant issue on college campuses across the United States. Recent episodes of violence on college campuses combined with a high rate of mental illness and suicide among young adults has led to concerns that students’ mental health needs are not being met. While much of the existing literature examines this issue from a quantitative perspective, the research described in this paper relied on a qualitative approach to assess university students’ experiences with campus resources and support for their mental illnesses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 students attending Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. Many of these students had accessed mental health resources provided by Texas State University, including the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Office of Disability Services, and reported positive experiences. Negative experiences, however, were also common and included a lack of information about available resources, which in turn affected access, dealing with an overburdened system, problems with the functioning of the resources, and a lack of social support. Based on these finding, suggestions are offered to improve students’ experiences with resources and the campus community at large.