COLLEGE OF THE OVERWHELMED: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What We Must Do About It

Richard Kadison, Author, Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, Author . Jossey-Bass $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-7879-7467-1

Kadison, chief of mental health services at Harvard, and DiGeronimo (How to Talk to Your Kids About Really Important Things ) are deeply concerned about the marked growth in serious mental health problems on campus: they note statistics showing that almost half of all students will become seriously depressed during their college career and may engage repeatedly in binge drinking. One in 10 undergraduates, they say, will seriously consider suicide. And the crisis is augmented, say the authors, by the cutbacks in mental health programs at many colleges due to budgetary considerations. Kadison and DiGeronimo do a commendable job of outlining the many stresses students face, such as academic pressure, financial problems, feelings of social inadequacy and, for women, a fear of sexual assault. In a stark chapter, the authors outline the self-destructive coping mechanisms adopted by those with emotional problems, including eating disorders, drug abuse, cutting and suicide attempts. Parents will find sensible suggestions for helping their children deal with college life. Most important, say the authors, is keeping the lines of communication open by listening to children without judgment or criticism. Parents, college counselors and administrators, and students themselves (to whom the last chapter is addressed) will find helpful, if sometimes disturbing, information here. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-7879-8114-3
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