Background: The need for mental health care among college students has grown exponentially
over the last decades; not only is the number of students needing care greater, but there is a
higher acuity as well. 19.9 million students are estimated to attend college in fall 2019. Relatively
few consensus guidelines exist on college mental health treatment and services.
Objective: The aim of this study is to review the current understanding of depression and suicidality
in the college population, current treatment methods, and campus-wide systems considerations for
addressing these issues.
Methods: Review of current literature.
Results: The increasing rates of depression and suicidality in the college student population have resulted
in increased morbidity and mortality, affecting college students and campuses across the country.
A comprehensive approach to address these issues includes treatment at an individual levelincluding
psychopharmacological treatment and various therapies, knowledge of campus and local
community resources, engaging students’ support systems including parents when appropriate, and
campus-wide systems approaches and interventions for reducing depression and increasing ease of
access to mental health services.
Conclusion: A comprehensive and systems approach is necessary for addressing the increased rates
of depression and suicidality among college students.