Surveying the scope of student mental wellness services

Campus-wide survey to kick off multi-year campaign

| Author: Eric Baerren | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

Central Michigan University wants to assess its campus-wide support of mental wellness and then take steps to improve its services.

The university is initiating a multi-year campaign this month, starting with a confidential survey that will go out to nearly 12,000 students. The data collected will inform CMU officials where the university needs to improve.

The goals are to support student academic success while fostering a sense of belonging.

“If we are to truly support student success, we have to know their needs,” said Melissa Hutchinson, executive director of counseling services, in an email.

The survey will ask students about mental health and related issues as well as what services students use to address them, according to the survey's website.

Responses to the survey will help CMU officials identify gaps in services and take steps to address them, Hutchinson said.

Collecting the responses will take approximately three weeks, and a full set of response data is expected next summer. Comparative national-level data will provide insights into CMU’s standing among other institutions.

The goal isn’t just to steer people to counseling, Hutchinson said. Some students might benefit better from mentoring or getting connected to another office that supports wellness and belonging like the university’s Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity.

CMU will spend three years gathering data and educating about what services exist, she said. Once they know where gaps in service exist, internal and external service providers will work together to see that they are addressed.

A three-year, $306,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide Prevention Program

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