Dr. Sara Murphy
Nursing, College of
Mental Health; Mental Health Awareness Day; NAMI; Mental Health Awareness
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Honors Project Abstract: Megan Kurose (Marketing)
Promoting Mental Health Awareness at URI
Sponsor: Sara Murphy (Thanatology)
In 2012, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) published a survey report on mental health entitled “College Students Speak”. The survey included in the report was web-based, and received 765 responses from individuals diagnosed with a mental health conditions who are currently or were enrolled in college within the past five years. Responses were collected from August 2011 to November 2011. According to the report, 57% of survey respondents did not request mental health accommodations from their school. The consequences of not receiving proper help and treatment are devastating and potentially life-threatening – suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and third leading cause of death for young Americans ages 15 to 24.
After talking to more than forty undergraduate students and interviewing Dr. Lindsey Anderson, director of URI’s Psychological Consultation Center, I learned that on-campus awareness of mental health programs and resources is relatively low. Many students appear to be unaware of the totality of services offered, and are failing to access the full scope of healthcare available here at the university.
For my project, I planned and executed a “Mental Health Awareness Day” to help improve awareness of the various mental-health related organizations that exist on campus. The following organizations from URI ran informational and interactive booths at the event: Counseling Center, Psychological Consultation Center, Health Center, Gender and Sexuality Center, Emergency Medical Services, Campus Police, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Club, UReca (URI Eating Concerns Advisors) Club, Couples and Family Therapy Clinic, Women’s Center, Disability Services, Dean of Students Office, Substance Abuse Prevention Services, and Housing and Residential Life.
During the event, I administered surveys to help judge the current state of need for and awareness of mental health care among students at URI. The feedback generated from the surveys was then collated into a report, which was presented to Student Affairs Administration. The purpose of the report was to make administrators more aware of the current state of need on campus, and to persuade key supervisory personnel at the University to invest further resources in the delivery of mental health care.
This report describes and analyzes the data collected via surveys distributed at the Mental Health Awareness Day. The purpose of this report is to summarize the current state of need for, and perceptions of, mental health care services amongst the undergraduate student population at URI.