Each new school year brings a mixture of emotions for students, whether they are heading off to pre-school through post-graduate studies. They may mourn the end of summer but look forward to seeing friends. They may be excited about new challenges but worry about academic pressure and peer pressure. As developing minds process these emotions, they often complicate emerging or ongoing behavioral health issues. Given that one-half of mental illnesses begin before age 14 and three quarters before age 25, it is critical, therefore, for students to have access to high-quality behavioral health services.
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Our nation’s college campuses are experiencing a surge in demand for mental health services. About 1 in 10 incoming freshmen reports feeling depressed frequently. The 2015 Annual Report for the Center for Collegiate Mental Health states that the use of college counseling centers grew by 30 percent, even though enrollment only increased by 5 percent. In addition, students’ concerns are increasingly complex.