Florida: Universities expect to hire many more counselors to meet mental health needs

Dec 20, 2017, WUWF, Florida NPR: Florida Universities Address Growing Mental Health Concerns Florida universities don’t always have the resources to help students with mental illnesses. Addressing mental health issues is a serious problem faced by institutions. They are expected to play a central role in identifying symptoms and helping individuals succeed. WFSU spoke to a student who feels her university offered support during a difficult time. … A recent report from the Florida Board of Governors showed only four universities met the minimum staffing requirement, including Florida Polytechnic University with one counselor per 600 students. The International Association of Counseling Services suggests one professional to every 1,500 students. While FSU and Florida A&M University are both understaffed, with almost 2,000 students per counselor, they don’t fall considerably below minimum staffing. Florida International University has the most students per counselor. Board member Norman Tripp says the state university system is committed to improving mental health services on campuses. “In 2017-18 the universities expect to hire a total of fifty six new staff," Tripp says. "A total of 105 additional mental health staff will be hired over the next four years.”