KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

College Students Face Long Waits For Mental Health Care As Demand Grows

College students are facing long waits for mental health care as their educational institutions struggle to keep up with demand.

Baltimore Sun: Colleges Struggling With Growing Demand For Mental Health Services
Within a week of arriving on campus this semester, University of Maryland junior Grace Freund felt the familiar symptoms of a depression creeping up — ones she knew to address quickly, lest they slip from her control. The 21-year-old psychology major called the counseling center on the College Park campus soon after to set up an appointment. However, she said, her request was rebuffed. "They said, 'Call back next week. We can't even schedule an intake appointment today,'" said Freund, a graduate of Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City. Across the state and nation, college students -- an age group particularly prone to mental illness -- report similar frustration. Campus counseling centers often have insufficient staff and long waiting lists, mental health professionals say. In Maryland, counseling center directors say they are nearly overwhelmed with the ballooning numbers of students requesting services (Rector, 3/7).

In the meantime, lawmakers in Georgia are pushing to allow those who've had mental illnesses to get gun licenses --

The Associated Press/Washington Post: After Conn. Massacre, Ga. Lawmakers Back Relaxing Gun Laws For Mentally Ill
While some states push to tighten gun control laws after the Connecticut school massacre, lawmakers in gun-friendly Georgia want to ease rules preventing some mentally ill people from getting licenses to carry firearms. Legislators in Georgia's House voted 117-56 on Thursday to allow people who have voluntarily sought inpatient treatment for mental illness or substance abuse to get licenses (3/7).

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