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Student Mental Health

A Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Leaders Serving in Higher Education

Edited by Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-194-5
  • Item #37194

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Student Mental Health: A Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Leaders Serving in Higher Education is the result of a sustained and multidisciplinary collaboration of scholars, leaders, clinicians, and educators who are deeply committed to student health and well-being. The needs of young people today are quite different from those of even 5 years ago, and this book pays great attention to the specific issues encountered in caring for today's students who experience distress or develop significant mental health conditions. Such issues, including suicidality, newly emergent psychosis, problems associated with substance misuse, the health risks of eating disorders, and the devastation of sexual assault, can challenge even the most experienced clinician. These topics and others related to safety, respect, conflict, and connection on campus, as well as students' evolving relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners, are covered with sensitivity and skill.

The book offers many features that deepen awareness and enhance learning:

  • Chapters offer student case examples that illustrate the concepts and strategies discussed in the text, allowing readers to readily apply their newly acquired knowledge to real-life scenarios.
  • The experiences, mental health, and well-being of distinct, vitally important, and often overlooked student populations, such as student athletes, graduate students, students of color, LGBTQ students, students who are the first in their families to attend college, students who are veterans or active military, and medical students, are addressed.
  • Positive self-care—for both students and the clinicians who work with them—is emphasized. For example, activities and habits related to sleep, nutrition, and exercise are outlined in hopes they will become lifelong self-management strategies for students, while effective measures to prevent emotional exhaustion in clinicians are also highlighted in the text.
  • Chapters incorporate features designed to promote learning: Key points offer quick summaries of chapter content; recommendations serve as reminders for best practices; and discussion questions provide thought-provoking approaches to the material for the reader's further reflection, development, and improvement.

At a time when students—whether in college, graduate school, or professional training—are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and distress, the need for guidance that is comprehensive, compassionate, constructive, and culturally sensitive has never been greater. Student Mental Health brings understanding and clinical acumen to bear on the complex problems of this vulnerable group.


  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I: Overview
  • Chapter 1. Student Mental Health
  • Chapter 2. Creating a Culture of Belonging, Respect, and Support on Campus
  • Chapter 3. Strategies for Excellence in Student Health Programs
  • Chapter 4. Burnout and Self-Care of Clinicians in Student Mental Health Services
  • Part II: Life Transitions and the Student Experience
  • Chapter 5. Student Self-Care, Wellness, and Resilience
  • Chapter 6. Adaptation and Stress
  • Chapter 7. A Developmental Perspective on Risk Taking Among College Students
  • Chapter 8. Friendships and Romantic Relationships of College Students
  • Chapter 9. Family Relationships During the College Years
  • Chapter 10. Distress and Academic Jeopardy
  • Part III: Caring for Students With Mental Health Issues
  • Chapter 11. Psychiatric Evaluation of the Young Adult University Student
  • Chapter 12. Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Chapter 13. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disorders
  • Chapter 14. Alcohol and Substance Use and Co-occurring Behaviors
  • Chapter 15. Eating Disorders and Body Image Concerns
  • Chapter 16. Stress and Trauma
  • Chapter 17. Sleep Disorders
  • Chapter 18. Intervening Early in First-Episode Psychosis in a College Setting
  • Chapter 19. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Chapter 20. The Suicidal Student
  • Chapter 21. Response to Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault
  • Chapter 22. Brief and Medium-Term Psychosocial Therapies at Student Health Centers
  • Chapter 23. Innovation, Technology, and Student Well-Being
  • Part IV: Fostering Mental Health for Distinct Student Populations
  • Chapter 24. First-Generation College Students
  • Chapter 25. Students of Color
  • Chapter 26. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Students
  • Chapter 27. Transgender Students
  • Chapter 28. Student-Athlete Mental Health
  • Chapter 29. Military and Veteran Students
  • Chapter 30. Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Chapter 31. Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows
  • Index


    Molly Adrian, Ph.D.
    Amy Alexander, M.D.
    Jacob S. Ballon, M.D., M.P.H.
    Michele S. Berk, Ph.D.
    Ms. Debra Berman
    Victor G. Carrion, M.D.
    Danielle Colborn, Ph.D.
    Lindsay C. Chromik, M.S.
    Whitney Daniels, M.D.
    Jennifer Derenne, M.D.
    Neir Eshel, M.D., Ph.D.
    Rachael Flatt
    Lawrence K. Fung, M.D., Ph.D.
    Brenda Gonzalez-Flores, M.S.
    Michael Haberecht, M.D.
    Inge Hansen, Psy.D.
    Kate V. Hardy, Clin.Psych.D.
    David S. Hong, M.D.
    Doris Iarovici, M.D.
    James R. Jacobs, M.D., Ph.D.
    Shashank V. Joshi, M.D.
    Christina Tara Khan, M.D., Ph.D.
    Megan Kelly, Psy.D.
    Michael Kelly, M.D.
    Eric Kuhn, Ph.D.
    Kyle Lane-McKinley, M.F.A.
    Anna Lembke, M.D.
    Ryan B. Matlow, Ph.D.
    Anne McBride, M.D.
    Shannon McCaslin, Ph.D.
    Lawrence McGlynn, M.D., M.S.
    Adriana Sum Miu, Ph.D.
    Douglas L. Noordsy, M.D.
    Chinyere I. Ogbonna, M.D., M.P.H.
    Bina Patel, M.D.
    Sujata Patel, M.D.
    Matthew Pesko, M.D.
    Lisa Post, Ph.D.
    Douglas S. Rait, Ph.D.
    Athena Robinson, Ph.D.
    Daniel Ryu, M.S.
    Ripal Shah, M.D., M.P.H.
    Shannon S. Sullivan, M.D.
    Allison L. Thompson, Ph.D.
    Mickey Trockel, M.D.
    Raziya S. Wang, M.D.
    Helen W. Wilson, Ph.D.
    Sanno Zack, Ph.D.

About the Authors

Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A., is Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Robert's has a talent for editing volumes that are so timely and sorely needed. She has created a tour de force in Student Mental Health: A Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Leaders Serving in Higher Education. I know of no existing single volume that covers so broadly and in so much rigorous depth the developmental characteristics and challenges to students from all walks of life as well as to those treating undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, including administrators responsible for the programmatic development and oversight of university mental health. Each chapter is admirably supported by the very latest in research. There are comprehensive chapters addressing traditional clinical psychopathology and treatment prevalent in higher education students as well as in every minority and special student population that frequently present or are in need of mental health care assistance. Undoubtedly, Student Mental Health will become required reading for psychiatric residents, psychology graduate students, social work and counseling students, to name but a few disciplines. It is likely that Dr. Roberts' new book will facilitate recruitment of new clinicians, so desperately needed, to the mental health care for higher education students.—Jerald Kay, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine

Student Mental Health: A Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Leaders Serving in Higher Education, is a long overdue, welcome addition to the mental health literature. It provides a pragmatic and comprehensive guidebook for clinicians and university leaders working with college students and young adults facing a host mental health, academic, developmental, and contemporary societal challenges. The book is replete with illustrative case examples, and most chapters include summaries of key concepts, recommended discussion questions and up-to-date references. Some of the highlights are chapters on creating a culture of belonging, respect and support; both student and provider self-care; key life transitions; and fostering mental health for distinct student populations often ignored in mental health services and training. It clearly is a book that should be read and remain readily available for anyone working with this challenging population.—Sidney Zisook, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, California

Student Mental Health is ideal for those studying or working in higher education, especially masters and doctoral students entering the fields of counseling or student affairs as well as early-career professionals beginning work in the university setting. Readers will appreciate having a single, comprehensive source that achieves the arduous task of providing a broader picture of the mental health and transitions of university students without losing important details.—Marcia L. Verduin, M.D.

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