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College presidents sharpen focus on mental health, survey finds

August 12, 2019 / Hallie Busta

Students' mental health has become more of a priority for colleges, which are responding by allocating more resources to address it, according to a survey of more than 400 college presidents by the American Council on Education (ACE). Anxiety and depression were the most common mental health issues presidents said they hear about, with 75% and 74% of respondents saying so, respectively. Leaders of public two-year colleges were more likely to learn of addiction issues and food and housing insecurity. The results track with broader discussions about the growing need for more mental health services on campuses, Hollie Chessman, a research fellow at ACE and a co-author of the study, told Education Dive in an interview. ACE conducted the research to understand how colleges are dealing with "the crisis of college student mental health," Chessman said. "We thought it was important to focus on the presidents because they are tasked at the highest level with navigating some o...