Combating Negative Stigma and Communication Obstacles for a University Community: Strategies and Recommendations for CAPS at Florida Institute of Technology
O'Neal, Kiayna Symone
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Counseling centers were established on university campuses to assist in student mental health wellness. The increased need for these services is evident with the steady rise in mental health conditions in college-aged students. However, research shows that despite the existence of counseling services on campus, a variety of factors still inhibit students from seeking the help they need. Researchers and universities have had to work to find the most effective ways to combat mental health stigma, lack of knowledge of resources and increase mental health awareness for the entire university community. This project examines these factors on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology by using a mixed-methods research design that includes web-based survey data and semi-structured interviews. By investigating the presence of stigma on campus, levels of awareness among both students and faculty members, and current counseling center outreach tactics, recommendations for improvement were created. To properly meet the mental health needs of a university body, the mental health climates on campuses must be explored and the best methods of improvement should be discovered. Counseling centers and their respective universities are responsible for providing a healthy environment in which student mental health and well-being is a priority.