Students with psychological issues are attending our college campuses in more increasing numbers than ever before (Gallagher, 2003; Gibson 2002; Harris & Robertson, 2001). These students also take more time to complete their degree than students who do not report mental health issues due to students not seeking mental health support (Hunt & Eisenberg, 2010; Koch, Mamiseishvili, & Higgins, 2014). The American College Heath Association stated that in 2015, 35.5% of undergraduate college students reported that they felt so depressed that it was difficult to function. A further 65% reported feeling “very sad,” and 9.8% reported they had “seriously considered suicide”(ACHA, 2015). These students are not required to visit with a college therapist or Disabilities Services unless seeking treatment or accommodations. However, all students at some time during their college career are required to visit with an academic advisor. As a result, college advisors will often have more interaction, save faculty, with these students than any other professional group on campus. In a study by the presenters, NACADA membership reported that about 50% of advisors said a student confided that they were suicidal. More than 36% of advisors also reported that students told them they engaged in self harm. Given this reality, it becomes clear that advisors need to be prepared to serve these students or to refer them to the appropriate service providers (i.e., the disability services office) (Vallandingham, 1997).
While advisors should not be expected to offer psychological help, it is imperative advisors understand, identify, and are comfortable advising and accommodating students with psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, both in the office and the classroom. It is important to note that the symptoms of depression for male and females can look quite different.
In this webinar, our presenters (all licensed psychologists) will bring their highly-attended and positively-evaluated 2015 NACADA Annual Conference presentation to the wider Web Event audience. They will focus on encouraging advisors, faculty, and other members of the college community to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in both male and female students. They will also explore how such symptoms may impact the student, the advisement session, and performance in the classroom. Ideas will be presented on how the advisor and/or other college professionals might better inform their practice on advising students who may struggle with this illness and how to ask the most difficult of questions.
Scott Hosford is a licensed psychologist, assistant clinical professor, and the director of the Academic Support Office at Brigham Young University (BYU). Currently, he works primarily with students struggling academically. He also provides psychotherapy to students at BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He was previously a senior staff psychologist at Washington State University (WSU) Counseling and Testing Services for six years where he also served as the testing coordinator, supervising and training doctoral students in the assessment of learning disabilities and psychological disorders. He also has previous clinical experience with veterans, older adults, children and adolescents in various settings. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology) and Brigham Young University (M.S., School Counseling Psychology; B.S. Psychology).
Julie Preece is a licensed psychologist and clinical professor at Brigham Young University. She currently holds a joint appointment with the Counseling and Career Center, coordinating and teaching class, and the Academic Support Office where she works with students who are struggling in school. Julie has worked in several areas of the university including as a counselor for Services with Students with Disabilities, as a psychological consultant for Residence Life, as a therapist and clinical training supervisor for Counseling and Psychological Services and Director of the Academic Support Office. Julie has also taught and continues to teach undergraduate, graduate students, and supervises peer coaches and counseling doctoral students in training.
Derek Griner is a licensed psychologist and holds a joint faculty appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services and the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Brigham Young University (BYU). He has worked in several settings including the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, BYU- Hawaii, Arizona State University’s Counseling and Consultation and BYU’s Accessibility Center. He is committed to furthering knowledge surrounding diversity, has conducted research in this domain, and received APA’s Division 17 Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship on Race & Ethnicity Award as well as APA’s Jeffrey S. Tanaka Memorial Dissertation Award in Psychology.
Until recently, Michael Brooks, Ph.D., J.D. served as the Director of Disability Services at Brigham Young University, where he also worked as a counselor in the Counseling and Career Center. He now serves as a forensic psychologist at the Utah State Hospital in Provo, Utah. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology (with an emphasis in neuropsychology) and his law degree from Brigham Young University. His professional practice has focused on assessment, particularly that involving law and mental health.