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The mental health factor in college security

Higher ed struggles to keep pace with growing need for mental health services

“The reaction to people who are threatening in the workplace, classroom or laboratory environment has changed,” says International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Executive Director Sue Riseling.

“We've seen a tremendous number of cases where there is a mental illness component. Of course, that’s why you want to intervene early and get them the medical help they need.”

Despite the expanded awareness, higher ed currently struggles to keep pace with the growing need for mental health services, with a shortage of available professionals.

Students at both large and small colleges sometimes wait weeks for attention, according to a recent survey of 50 institutions by Stat, a national publication dedicated to science and health

In a separate recent survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, just six in 10 of college counseling centers reported having a psychiatrist available, even part-time, to prescribe or adjust medications.

Ray Bendici is special projects editor of UB.


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