The following article is edited from a feature story in the prestigious Boston Globe newspaper

The business of campus mental health care

By Deirdre Fernandes GLOBE STAFF DECEMBER 12, 2018

At many college counseling centers therapists are overwhelmed and students are forced to wait weeks for an appointment, even as more of them seek help for anxiety, depression, and sleep and eating disorders.

(One solution is for) colleges and universities to handle the overflow of short-term counseling needs, using a network of therapists who are available online or over the phone. (This approach is designed) to help college counseling centers where there have been pain points to help more students get the services they need, at the time they need them.

(Third party) companies are (providing) colleges and their students assistance in handling the surge in demand for mental health care on campuses across the country. Their business model is simple: Fill in the many gaps of mental health care services on US college campuses.

Anxiety and depression are increasing among college students, and many young adults no longer feel any stigma in seeking help, increasing the demand for counselors and therapists, said Laura Horne, a program director for a Washington D.C., mental health advocacy and suicide prevention nonprofit.

The number of students seeking behavioral health services on campus rose six times faster than the rate of student enrollment in a recent five-year stretch, Penn State’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health reported in 2016. But many colleges are overwhelmed by students’ needs.

Many are hiring more counselors. Northeastern University, for example, has been hiring more therapists this year to add to its staff of 12 people who work with about 20,000 students.

Some colleges are also seeking outside help. College counseling centers often refer students off-campus, but the list of therapists can be extensive, appointments difficult to make, and fee information out of date.

College administrators are aware that more has to be done to support students and ensure they get the treatment they need so they can stay in college and earn their degrees.

Third Party Commentary: One solution to the serious growing problem of student mental health issues is an innovative solution called Capstone Mental Health Services available from a national healthcare company called Capstone Health Network. The Capstone Health Network program features 24/7/365 mental health counseling from the privacy of a student’s home or dorm every day of the year typically within 1 hour. Services are available in English and Spanish and there are no mental health counselor fees, deductibles, or co-pays. The Capstone Mental Health Service program also includes no-charge 24/7/365 telemedicine treatments from board-certified, U.S. physicians, plus a discount prescription drug program that can save up to 95% on name brand and generic drugs. The cost of this program starts at as low as $12.95 per month for individuals and $18.95 for families.

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