Technology is Helping Counselors Meet Student Demand
It’s no surprise to hear that college students get stressed out but the increased number of students seeking mental health resources has forced college campuses to address overflowing waiting rooms.
College counseling centers across the country have seen an influx of students asking for help with stress and depression. Recent high tech innovations have allowed for the streamlining of intake and help mental health experts to address high risk students more immediately.
There is no proof whether students are currently more depressed or if the negative stigma of seeking help for mental health is slowing dissipating. No matter the cause, it is important for counseling centers to analyze the needs of patients and prioritize treatment by risk. Students found to have high risk depression should be treated more immediately and with more observation.
Computer based questionnaires have recently helped busy centers to analyze the needs of their patients before they even see a counselor. Answering intake questions electronically has shown to encourage honesty from students who may feel uncomfortable responding to the same questions verbally. Answers which flag severe need allow counselors to respond quickly.
Varying in length and depth, the questionnaires also help mental health counselors to familiarize themselves with a patient prior to their visit. Having that background available saves time and makes counseling sessions more effective.
Several of these electronic questionnaires have been implemented in campus health centers. Indiana State University incorporated the Behavior Health Measure into their counseling services routine. The Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS) is also used in a plethora of American campus health centers.
Dr. Adam Kaplin from Johns Hopkins created a program with similar goals in mind. To track patient experience Kaplin created Mood 24/7, a program using text message to observe treatment patterns. A text message is sent everyday asking the receiver to rate their mood that day. Subscribers are able to view a chart of their responses online, and may share the information with their doctor. This tool provides both patient and doctor with a visual of progress in between visits. Mood 24/7 is free and available for anyone to use. To track your moods sign up at Mood 24/7.