Survey Finds That African-American College Students Are Reluctant to Use Mental Health Services on Campus

New research from the Center for the Study of Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University finds that blacks are less likely than whites to access mental health services on campus. The study analyzes data from more than 28,000 clients of mental health clinics at 66 colleges and universities nationwide. None of the institutions surveyed was a historically black college or university. But many of the institutions included in the survey were highly selective colleges and universities or flagship state universities.

While blacks make up about 13 percent of all students enrolled in higher education in the United States, only 7.7 percent of all students who used mental health services on campus in the fall of 2008 were black.

The study also found that 11.5 percent of black women who visited mental health clinics had moderate to high levels of eating disorders. For whites, the figure was 16 percent.