Under the leadership of UCLA sociology professor S. Michael Gaddis, researchers have examined data about mental health services and stigma from campuses across the country. The data was collected via the Healthy Minds Study, an online survey conducted annually that examines mental health, service utilization and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students in the United States. Gaddis and his team analyzed data from 2009–15, which included 62,756 students from 75 institutions. The study found that college students who experience suicidal thoughts are less likely to seek treatment if they go to a school with a high level of stigma around mental health issues. The researchers also found a large variation in levels of stigma across campuses. Gaddis has a personal connection to this issue because he struggled with his own mental health as a first-generation college student. This research is relevant for with the Depression Grand Challenge, an effort launched by UCLA in 2015 to reduce the burden of depression worldwide by developing better methods of detecting, evaluating and treating depression. Ultimately, Gaddis hopes his ongoing research will help institutions create viable interventions that are appropriate to the specific characteristics of their schools and student populations.
Source: Study shows stigma around mental health on campus correlates with students not seeking treatment UCLA Newsroom, 23 Jan 2018
Impact of Stigma on Students’ Mental Health Inside Higher Ed, 24 Jan 2018