UH Student Leaders Declare Mental Health Crisis

The International Association of Counseling Services recommends college counseling centers maintain one professional staffer for every 1,500 students. No public university in Texas meets that mark.

The UH Student Government Association lays out 1,100 t-shirts at their End the Stigma campaign event. Each year, nearly 1,100 college students die by suicide.

A recent student suicide and a 27% uptick in counseling appointments at the University of Houston has brought new attention to mental health on campus. Student leaders at the university recently voted to recognize a “mental health crisis” on campus.

"The university is doing everything they can to support us,” said Student Body President Winni Zhang. “What we're really needing is Texas state as well as Congress members to really do something about mental health."

Zhang hopes for legislators to pass similar bills to the Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, which gave grants to campuses to improve mental and behavior services.

The problem is not limited to the University of Houston. The International Association of Counseling Services recommends that college counseling centers have one professional staffer for every fifteen-hundred students. No public university in Texas meets that mark.

Michele Faith heads the Texas College Counselors Association. She says in addition to more counseling staff, more work needs to be done to end the stigma surrounding counseling. "Sometimes students think they're going to the principal's office,” she said. “There's that stigma and shame, but if they see our faces out there, whether we're doing a workshop, or whether we're standing at a table, all the sudden they say, ‘Oh, well that person looks like a friendly person, or someone that's concerned about me.'"

If you or someone you know is considering hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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Davis Land

Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is Houston Public Media's senior news producer. He leads coverage for News 88.7's morning newscasts and coordinates between beat reporters, newscasters, and the Houston Matters team. Before joining Houston Public Media, Land produced for WBUR's newscast unit and Atlantic Public Media. His work has been heard on NPR's...

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