This year's National Survey of Counseling Center Directors found that 84 percent of student counseling center directors are concerned with an increase in students who arrive on campus with severe psychological illnesses. In fact, says Robert Gallagher, EdD, who has conducted the survey since 1981, "this problem has become more pronounced over the past 10 years."
The survey, which gathered data from counseling center directors at 300 U.S. colleges and universities, found that over the past decade:
44.5 percent report an increase in students with alcohol abuse problems.
49 percent report an increase in other illicit drug usage.
71 percent report an increase of students with diagnosed learning disabilities.
37 percent report a recent increase in eating disorders.
In addition, the survey found, about a third of the centers report that more students are seeking counseling because of sexual assaults. Stalking and obsessive behavior are also problems: 60 percent of centers said they dealt with obsessive pursuit cases in the past year, including five cases in which students were killed.
The National Survey of Counseling Center Directors can be ordered from the International Association of Counseling Services by calling (703) 823-9840.