University students face astonishing amounts of pressure from financial constraints, hormones, relationships with family and friends let alone lovers, plus academic workloads. College campuses worldwide offer on-site and online counseling options to calm down distraught students and to help them to put stressors into manageable perspective. In today’s digital age, the need for online counseling is increasing, but the opportunities for it are limited.
A quick review on digital counseling options for college students reveals the options that presently exist. that The American College Health Association features an online counseling resource at its website. It’s more of a menu for on-site therapy rather than for sanity-saving digital conversations, however.
The Journal of American College Health has a YouTube channel, but it’s not for one-on-one digital discussions either.
The geniuses at MIT haven’t even set up such a system at their Medical and Mental Health Counseling offices, though 24-hour phone services are available.
Neither Northwestern University nor University of Michigan offer online counseling options, either.
Penn State University has the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, though no signs of online counseling activity seem to be available, yet.
Tulane University offers E-health learning resources, but no online counseling possibilities, yet.
What can frantic freshmen and upper classmen do in crisis-driven situations when they need to calm down ASAP? Some of them contact ULifeline, an online crisis center geared to the pressures of collegial life. Highly charged sensations of tension and anxiety can melt away, or be minimized, with that immediate attention to distressing details.
California’s Santa Ana college has a digital mental health counseling option. Fullerton College does, too.
Seven Cups of Tea is another option, though it is not exclusively designed for the needs of college students.
MEDPAGE Today’s November 23, 2016 news item, AAP: Kids Need Better Access to Mental Health Services, indicates that minors increasingly need access to mental health services. The article indicates that pediatricians can partner with universities and community mental health services to make that possible. It is no feat to realize that if little children need the help, their college-aged peers need it, too. Despite today’s limited number of online counseling options for college students, those options are likely to increase coast to coast.
In the event of an immediate crisis such as rape or other trauma, the National Alliance on Mental Health lists hotlines on their website.
Unprofessional online counseling sites for students and other populations exist, so be alert to the signs of valid credentials or the lack of them. Seek accreditation from respected psychiatric and psychological societies such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the American Mental Health Foundation, the National Institutes for Mental Health and your college association.
Learn more about how to help college students or anyone with depression, a sense of stress or other emotional/mental health setback from the National Institute of Mental Health. Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIMH offers the latest information for “identifying the signs and symptoms of mental illness and for accessing help with mental health issues.”