Analysis of the Utilization of Resources Related to Depression and Anxiety in University Students and Interventions to Improve Mental Health Services at Washburn University

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Abrha, Sualih
Anagbor, Oluchi
Azami, Ruth
Washburn University
School of Nursing
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Background: Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental disorders affecting college students in the USA (CDC, 2018). Purpose: The purpose of this Quality Improvement project is to improve student mental health by improving access to mental health services at Washburn University. Design: Quality Improvement Project. Methodology: A critical appraisal of the literature and a focus group of WU mental health service providers were conducted. Focus group results showed WU has excellent resources that students underutilize because of three main reasons: • Many students, faculty, and staff are not aware of the resources offered through the University. • Budget limitations hamper efforts to promote the services and create awareness. • Students are unwilling to discuss openly and seek help when needed because of stigma. Based upon the results of this data and the highest-level evidence found in the literature, interventions were offered to address the problem. Interventions: Mindfulness training was offered as a pilot to students in one section of the WU101 class. NAMI was reestablished on the WU campus. The men's basketball team at WU was given training on becoming mental health ambassadors. An in-service was offered to the School of Nursing undergraduate faculty on WU resources for mental health. Results: A post-implementation survey of WU mental health services showed that the project was moderately effective but highlighted that increased utilization of services may create challenges in service capacity.