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College Mental Health Program

College Mental Health Program

For many young adults, the transition to college can be an unsettling or even anxiety-provoking time. For those with mental health issues, this life phase can be even more challenging and may create a set of concerns. In recognizing the growing need for services to address the needs of this population, the College Mental Health Program offers Bridge to Campus, a consultation service designed to help students with mental health challenges prepare for a successful transition to college and provide guidance in achieving academic and personal growth.

This service is ideally suited for students affected by mental illness who are preparing to apply to college or preparing to transition to college from high school or a gap year. It may also be appropriate for students returning to college from a leave of absence or for those who are contemplating a transfer to a new college.

The College Mental Health Program staff bring an unprecedented level of expertise to students and their families in understanding the many complex issues that can arise during this time in a young person’s life. The focus is to help students develop the skills they need to successfully manage their mental health challenges while adjusting to the demands of academic and campus life. Such concerns may include identifying campus resources, managing stigma, addressing procrastination and test anxiety, and maintaining healthy self-care.

Consultations are provided based on the particular needs of each student and include:

  • One to two 50-minute meetings with the student to gather information about history, mental health concerns, previous school experiences, and goals using state-of-the-art assessments to create individualized recommendations.
  • One 50-minute meeting with the student and parents to explore family concerns and perspectives and to review the student’s academic and mental health records. This meeting also provides an opportunity to learn about previous interactions with treatment providers or key support people, as well as to assess if individual medication and psychotherapy support will be needed (offered in collaboration with McLean’s Adult Outpatient Services).
  • Thorough review of the student’s academic and mental health records, including phone contact with current treatment providers, if appropriate.
  • Comprehensive written report detailing assessment of the student’s preparedness to manage college life and current mental health concerns, recommendations regarding the student’s support team and their roles, and suggestions for a seamless academic and personal transition to college.
  • One 50-minute student and parent feedback session in which the assessment is summarized, goals are clarified, and step-by-step suggestions for everyone involved are outlined.

Potential suggestions created from each student’s personalized assessment include:

  • Ways to minimize academic setbacks caused by mental health conditions
  • How to use a leave of absence to build independent living, academic, and mental health management skills
  • How to make use of on- and off-campus resources to enhance well-being
  • How to advocate effectively for accommodations and other resources
  • How to talk to friends, acquaintances, and professors about your mental health
  • Advice as to whether specific colleges or types of college environments will have the necessary resources and services to help maintain stability

Regardless of a student's home state or college location, Bridge to Campus can help by clarifying the student’s struggles, needs, and goals, and identifying services available at their college or in their city of residence. If parents are not able to meet at McLean Hospital, sessions can be conducted by phone; however, it is recommended that students meet the program's psychologists in person in order to build the best possible collaboration.

Due to the fact that Bridge to Campus does not involve clinical treatment, services provided are not covered by health insurance plans. The cost for the Bridge to Campus service is $2000, with psychologists available to provide additional recommendations and information following consultation, if needed. The fee for each additional individual 50-minute meeting is $200.

With expert guidance, planning, and with the proper resources and strategies in place, the program aims to assist students with mental health challenges to be highly successful in achieving academic goals and personal growth while enjoying a fulfilling college experience.