Patricia Morgan PhDHot air balloons reflecting in lake, butterfly


Phone: 814-297-7079

Local Service Providers

Helpful Techniques
1-2-3 Timeout
Comforting Others
Positive Coaching
Mental Health for
College Life
at Work
Traditional Therapies
Glossary of Terms

Contact Info

Practice Location:
498 Greenville Pike
(By Clarion Office Equipment)
Clarion, PA 16214

Mailing Address:
1213 Chestnut St;
Clarion, PA 16214

Mental Health and College Students

Each year, approximately 4 million students enroll in college for the first time. Most are on your own for the first time. With this freedom comes added pressures and anxieties—such as trying to belong in a new setting, keeping up with schoolwork, etc.  Sometimes these pressures can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, a fear of seeking help is common on college campuses, where the need to “fit in” is so strong.

The perceived stigma surrounding mental health problems is a major reason why so many people do not seek treatment.  An estimated one in five Americans 18 and older—which translates to more than 54 million Americans—will experience mental health problems in any given year and fewer than 8 million will seek treatment.1
How Healthy Is College?

Suicide, the eighth leading cause of death for all Americans, is the second leading killer of college-age individuals.  College-age adults are especially vulnerable to mental health problems, partly because many problems first emerge in the late teens or early 20s.  An astonishing 27 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds have diagnosable mental health problems2.

According to a study of college freshmen, their feelings about their physical and emotional health hit record lows in 2001. (The downward trends occurred before September 11.)  For example, the percentage of freshmen who reported feeling that there was a very good chance they would seek personal counseling while attending college reached a 28-year high at 6.6 percent. Nearly 20 percent of first-year male students reported feeling frequently overwhelmed by what they had to do, as did more than 35 percent of first-year female students3.

Which Organizations Can Help?

Active Minds on Campus, a national organization, is specifically focused on college mental health issues and helping colleges create campaigns to counter stigma and discrimination.  So is Mentality, a group dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and challenging the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems.  Its Web site is aimed at students and faculty starting or running advocacy groups on their own college or university campuses.  National organizations such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI on Campus), the National Mental Health Association (Finding Hope and Help), and the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (Change Your Mind) have college campaigns and provide ideas and materials for college students. The Jed Foundation is an organization committed to reducing the youth suicide rate and strengthening the mental health safety net provided to college students nationwide.

Free teleconference training on this topic is available at: To download complete presentations and listen to the audio recordings, scroll to Combating Stigma on Campus.

Also, articles, fact sheets, resource organizations and other materials on this topic are available at:

For more information about how to address discrimination and stigma, contact the SAMHSA Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma (ADS Center), e-mail or call 800-540-0320, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

1 Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999)