Student mental health is a little known, but acute crisis. The use of mental health services has increased 68 percent across U.S. college and university campuses in the last 10 years, according to a study from the American Council on Education. Florida International University has created campaigns like CAPS, Counseling and Psychology Services, to battle this issue.
One place many students begin to find help is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We are kinda that point of entry for them,” said the group’s president, Angelica De Rezende, about those seeking group therapy. Her members sometimes offer to walk uncomfortable students to CAPS.
Stephany Bello, senior program and testing coordinator, said every student deals with mental health issues uniquely. “[Some students] come in for the help they need. Some students have the same thing and they don’t come in because they learn coping mechanisms,” Bello said.
However, the burden still falls on institutions like FIU to continue to provide services. There are 58,000 students in attendance and only 29 counselors available. As the semester continues, the wait time to see a counselor increases.