With the recent tragedy allegedly perpetrated by suspended college student Jared Loughner in Tuscon, AZ, the role of colleges’ and universities’ student counseling centers has taken center stage. This is a little odd, given that Mr. Loughner attended a community college that lacked a student counseling center. Most community colleges — catering to part-time students who often have families or hold down full-time jobs — don’t seem to have the mental health counseling centers that most traditional universities and colleges have.
Dr. Emily Gibson, a family physician who apparently works with students at a college, recently wrote a blog entry about mental illness in the college student. In this entry, she seems to bemoan the fact that students have come to expect a certain level of psychiatric care and treatment for their mental health concerns — even while at college. Of course, universities have limited resources to offer such care.
Indeed, she asks — but never answers — some compelling questions:
“Didn’t the college understand that removing him from school would make things worse and remove him from daily monitoring of his behavior? Wasn’t there a way to compel him to get psychiatric assessment and treatment?”
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