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I’m posting this resource article, written by Michelle Campbell, the Higher Education Advisor of, as a resource for anyone who might benefit:

Beginning college while managing mental health concerns doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Those who grasp their rights and discover how to seek support can successfully finish their degree and have a positive learning journey.

The State of Mental Health on College Campuses

In the last decade, college students have faced increased levels of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. A 2020 CDC report highlighted higher rates of mental health issues among individuals aged 18 to 24, leading to a demand for mental health services on college campuses. Beyond depression and anxiety, colleges need to address various mental health issues, as indicated by the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment’s 2021 survey. The reported percentages, including anxiety (28.9%), depression (23.4%), eating disorders (5%), bipolar disorder (2.2%), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (1.4%), substance abuse (1.4%), and schizophrenia (0.3%), may be underestimated as they rely on self-reported diagnoses.

How Colleges Accommodate Students With Mental Health Conditions

Colleges are ready to help students with mental health challenges, but it’s essential to understand what to expect from the start. If students had special plans (like IEPs or Section 504 plans) in elementary, middle, or high school, it’s crucial to know that these plans don’t automatically continue into college. After high school, it becomes the student’s job to let the college know about their disability. Colleges must collaborate with students with disabilities and are not allowed to discriminate against them.

Most college campuses have health and wellness centers, each with its own process for students to request accommodations or adjustments to their coursework. During enrollment, students should inform the college about their specific needs to receive the right support. Additionally, on-campus counseling centers are often free for enrolled students.

Understanding the rights of students

Awareness of their legal rights allows students to customize their postsecondary education for the best possible experience. Colleges are mandated to support students with mental health conditions, ensuring they are not restricted from attending classes due to their psychiatric disability. Key laws, such as Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, prohibit discrimination. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) safeguards students’ educational records, granting them control over access, disclosure, amendments, and the ability to file complaints for FERPA violations.

Scholarships and Financial Resources for Students With Mental Health Conditions

Numerous scholarships are available to support students with mental health conditions and cover college expenses. Here are several options to look into:

1. The Quell Foundation Fighter Scholarship: Recognizing merit, this scholarship aids high school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students undergoing treatment or diagnosed with a mental health condition. Award amounts vary.

2. Baer Reintegration Scholarship: Tailored for students diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder, this scholarship requires ongoing treatment and active engagement in rehabilitation or reintegration efforts. Award amounts, based on needs, range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

3. Prochnow Foundation Scholarship: Offering an annual $1,000 scholarship, this opportunity is for high-achieving students diagnosed with a mental health condition. Applicable to a four-year college or full-length trade school, it aims to alleviate the financial burden of dedicated learners.

4. JC Runyon Foundation Scholarship: Geared towards students who have completed an inpatient program dedicated to behavioral health treatment, this scholarship supports those accepted into a college, university, trade school, or undergraduate program. Award amounts are undisclosed.

5. Google Lime Scholarship: Google strives to empower students interested in computing and technology fields, particularly those with visible or invisible disabilities. U.S. students can apply for $10,000 scholarships based on academic background and a demonstrated passion for computer science.

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About Joseph Turiano

I truly love what I do. I want to share my passion with the people around me and help to create a happier, healthier world with those that wish to grow and prosper. I’m here to help you make positive, lasting changes in your life and I’m looking forward to meeting you.

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