Rates of mental health issues on campuses have been rising for years. Colleges have failed to keep up.

Problem Statement

There is a mental health problem in the college student community. This problem has negatively impacted millions of students and those around them. While some may believe that it is expected and normal for college students to experience anxiety and depression, especially in the age of COVID-19, studies have shown that students in the fall of 2020 experienced record levels of mental health issues, continuing a long trend of growing mental health issues in young adults. According to University of Michigan Professor Justin Heinze, “47% [of college students] screened positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety” and 83% reported recent academic impairment due to mental health issues. This is likely a result of today’s students not only experiencing the stress of their academics and personal lives, but the effects of widespread political, social and economic unrest, as well as a global pandemic and the associated death and separation. While universities have provided some mental health and crisis resources, they are not prepared to aid nearly half of their student population at the necessary level, and are focused primarily on response rather than prevention.

the experiences our young people face now and the support they receive from us in coping with and navigating these challenges will have profound impacts on their abilities to be successful adults, parents, and citizens for years to come

– Rachel Hults & Dr. Steven Adelsheim

Stakeholders & Organizations

  • College Students
  • Student Governments
  • College Administrations
  • Counseling & Psychological Services Departments
  • The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors
  • The Healthy Minds Network


We propose a three step “solution” for colleges to take control of the mental health crisis on their campus by focusing on community support and prevention:

  1. Reduce campus counseling wait times
  2. Establish student run peer-support networks
  3. Hold community mental health events

For more details on the solution and action plan, please visit the solutions page.