Variations in Student Mental Health and Treatment Utilization Across US Colleges and Universities

Sarah Ketchen Lipson, S. Michael Gaddis, Justin Heinze, Kathryn Beck, Daniel Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


On US college campuses, mental health problems are highly prevalent, appear to be increasing, and are often untreated. Concerns about student mental health are well documented, but little is known about potential variations across the diversity of institutions of higher education. Participants: Participants were 43,210 undergraduates at 72 campuses that participated in the Healthy Minds Study from 2007 to 2013. Methods: Multivariable logistic regressions focus on associations between institutional characteristics and student mental health and treatment utilization. Results: The following institutional characteristics are associated with worse mental health: doctoral-granting, public, large enrollment, nonresidential, less competitive, and lower graduation rates. Among students with apparent mental health problems, treatment utilization is higher at doctorate-granting institutions, baccalaureate colleges, institutions with small enrollments, and schools with strong residential systems. Conclusions: Although high rates of mental health problems and low treatment utilization are major concerns at all types of institutions of higher education, substantial variation occurs across campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-396
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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