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Philadelphia: 20% of college students will suffer from depression

Aug 23, 2017, KCBX, Philadelphia: Colleges see growing need for mental health services http://kcbx.org/post/colleges-see-growing-need-mental-health-services#stream/0 At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a few dozen incoming freshmen gathered recently for a tour of the Counseling and Psychological Services center. There’s a large waiting area and 50 counseling rooms housed in a brick office building near campus. “We really want to emphasize the fact that anyone can benefit from this,” said Meeta Kumar, associate director for outreach and prevention. “Twenty percent of undergrads at some point or another come to us.” That’s almost double the rate 15 years ago. The center has more than doubled its staff during that time, and recently moved to a larger space to accommodate the demand. Like colleges everywhere, Penn has seen a rise in students dealing with anxiety and depression. In a survey last year, the American College Health Association found that about 20 percent of college students had been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, up from 10 percent when the survey started in 2000. And in the past few years, anxiety has overtaken depression as the top mental health concern, said Micky Sharma, president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. ... There’s also more awareness of mental health issues, so students are more likely to seek help, experts said, and colleges are taking more responsibility for treating them. … “And now in many schools, the mental health services really function like psychiatric emergency rooms, walk-in clinics, counseling services and kind of full-service mental health care systems,” he said. ...