Researcher advocates universal mental health screening for students

June 5, 2014

Universities hoping to help students with mental health issues are often stymied by their inability to easily identify students in need. Simon Williams, a researcher at Northwestern University, has proposed that PSE institutions implement universal mental-health checks for students to help identify potential issues before they develop into clinical problems. Williams says that routine screening is “really just a type of applied research,” and that regular checks will not only reduce mental health problems but will provide researchers with valuable data that can be used to combat mental illness on a larger scale. Williams also proposes that mental-health education be incorporated into the core curriculum, not as a graded course but as an initiative to “encourage students to reflect on their self-concept and emotional self-awareness.” Such a course could be complemented by further programs, including stress-management and meditation training. The Chronicle of Higher Education