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Today’s College Students

A Reader

Series:

Edited By Pietro A. Sasso and Joseph L. DeVitis

America’s undergraduates truly represent a mind-boggling diversity. Today’s College Students: A Reader looks at a wide variety of student groups and identities, which sets it apart from other texts on contemporary college students that do not cover such a broad spectrum. The editors and contributors also invite students, their instructors, and other college/university practitioners to be mindful of the crucial, yet sometimes overlooked, connection between extra-curricular campus activities and learning. Sustaining educational moments throughout the undergraduate experience, in and out of the classroom, is why colleges exist. This volume thus reminds us that both social interaction and individual critical reflection are vital collegiate processes, especially in an age of consumerism and the McDonaldization of higher education. Ultimately, the text seeks to reinforce and augment the rich diversity that can make college more rewarding for us all. It is especially useful for courses devoted to today’s college students and diversity, the multicultural university, college student development, and student affairs administration.

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Part Four. Student Development

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Student Development Part Four Student Mental Health Issues on Today’s Campuses Twenty Four Alan M. Schwitzer and Brian Van Brunt Although college counseling professionals “tend to be more visible during crises” such as the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech tragedy in Blacksburg, “they serve student mental health needs every day” (Schwitzer, 2007a, p. 99). Further, today’s mental health concerns often seem increasingly disrup- tive for the learners who experience them, for their peers, and for the campus educators who work with them (Van Brunt, 2012). In fact, based on his comparison of college counseling trends and the mental health trends of adolescents and young adults in off-campus settings, Rudd (2004) con- cluded that during the past decade, college counseling centers and university psychological services have essentially become community mental health clinics in a specialized institutional context. As a result, higher education professionals in every corner of the campus confront students in need— from individuals in acute crisis to those struggling with the common adjustment and developmen- tal issues that affect college academic and social success (Reynolds, 2011). Correspondingly, this chapter is designed to inform higher education professionals’ knowledge and practice regarding current student mental health needs. First, the college student mental health domain is defined. Next, contemporary college student mental health trends and several specific student mental health issues are presented. Then, the continuum of disruption that student mental health problems can cause for campus constituencies is discussed. Finally, some conclusions are drawn about the future. The College Student Mental...

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