首页 > VOA慢速英语 > 教育报道 > 【教育报道】美国大学努力应对日益增长的精神卫生服务需求 US Colleges Struggle with Increasing Demand for Mental Health Services


【教育报道】美国大学努力应对日益增长的精神卫生服务需求 US Colleges Struggle with Increasing Demand for Mental Health Services

More college students are turning to their schools for help with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.



The Associated Press, or AP, reports that many students must wait weeks for treatment or find help outside the campus community as school clinics struggle to meet demand. This is just one of the findings from an AP study of over 30 public universities in the United States.

据美联社报道,由于学校诊所难以满足需求,许多学生必须等待数周才能接受治疗或在校园社区以外寻求帮助。 这只是美联社对美国30多所公立大学进行的一项研究的发现之一。

Over the past five years, the number of students in the U.S. higher education system has changed little. Yet on some campuses, the number of students seeking treatment for mental health issues has nearly doubled. This increase has been tied to a better understanding of such issues, along with rising rates of depression and other disorders.

在过去的五年中,美国高等教育系统的学生人数变化不大。 然而,在某些校园中,寻求治疗心理健康问题的学生人数几乎增加了一倍。 这种增加与对此类问题的更好理解以及抑郁症和其他疾病的发生率上升有关。

Universities have expanded their mental health clinics, but that growth is often slow, and demand keeps rising.

Long waits have led to protests at schools from Maryland to California, in some cases following student suicides. In addition, campus clinics increasingly require their mental health specialists to do more work. However, this can lead to tired, "burned-out" employees.


长时间的等待导致从马里兰州到加利福尼亚州的学校抗议,在某些情况下是学生自杀。 此外,校园诊所越来越多地要求他们的心理健康专家做更多的工作。 但是,这可能导致疲倦的“精疲力尽”员工。

Jamie Davidson is associate vice president for student wellness at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She told The AP her school struggles with large numbers of students who need mental health help. The university has 11 trained counselors for 30,000 students, but her team still finds the work difficult.

"You're never going to talk to anyone in the mental health field who tells you we have sufficient resources," Davidson said.


杰米·戴维森(Jamie Davidson)是拉斯维加斯内华达大学学生健康副总裁。 她告诉美联社,她的学校在与大量需要精神健康帮助的学生中挣扎。 该大学有11名训练有素的辅导员,可为30,000名学生提供辅导,但她的团队仍然觉得工作很困难。


The Associated Press requested five years of records from the largest public university in all 50 states. A total of 39 provided year-by-year data from their counseling clinics or health centers. The records show that most universities are working to expand their mental health services, but many are simply unable to meet demand.

美联社要求全美50个州最大的公立大学提供五年的记录。 共有39家公司从其咨询诊所或保健中心提供了逐年的数据。 记录显示,大多数大学都在努力扩展其心理健康服务,但许多大学根本无法满足需求。

Since 2014, the number of students receiving treatment at the universities has grown by 35 percent. Yet the total number of students attending those schools rose just 5 percent. By last year, nearly 1 in 10 students were coming for help, but the number of trained counselors changed little.

自2014年以来,在大学接受治疗的学生人数增长了35%。 然而,就读这些学校的学生总数仅增长了5%。 到去年为止,每10名学生中就有近1名正在寻求帮助,但是训练有素的辅导员的人数变化很小。

That means one counselor for every 4,000 students on some campuses, including at Utah Valley University. Experts suggest at least one mental health specialist for every 1,500 students, but few of the 39 universities met that benchmark.

这意味着在包括犹他谷大学在内的某些校园中,每4,000名学生中就有一名辅导员。 专家建议,每1,500名学生中至少应有一名心理健康专家,但39所大学中很少有达到这一基准的。

One student's experience

When Ashtyn Aure sought treatment at Utah Valley's clinic last year, she was suffering anxiety attacks and had not slept for days. Her mind kept returning to painful experiences from her past. When she asked to see a counselor, one worker told her the wait list stretched for months. She left without getting help.

"That was the place I was supposed to go. What do you do after that? Do you go to the hospital? Do you phone a friend?" said Aure.

去年,当Ashtyn Aure在犹他州山谷的诊所寻求治疗时,她正遭受焦虑症的困扰,而且没有睡几天。 她的思想不断回到过去的痛苦经历。 当她要见顾问时,一位工人告诉她,等待名单长达数月。 她没有得到帮助就离开了。

“那是我应该去的地方。那之后你要做什么?你去医院吗?你给朋友打电话吗?” 奥雷说。

In the end, she turned to her religious group, which helped her find therapy at an off-campus clinic. "If it wasn't for that," she said, "I don't know."

Officials at Utah Valley said they are working to avoid such cases. If officials know a student is having serious problems, they said, a counselor can see that person in a few minutes. But workers have only a brief period to make decisions about treatment.

最后,她转向自己的宗教团体,该团体帮助她在校外诊所找到治疗方法。 她说:“如果不是那样的话,我不知道。”

犹他州山谷的官员表示,他们正在努力避免此类情况。 他们说,如果官员们知道学生有严重问题,辅导员可以在几分钟内看到那个人。 但是工人只有很短的时间来决定治疗方案。

"Unfortunately, stories like this are not uncommon," said William Erb, senior director of student health services at Utah Valley. "We train, review and revise these procedures so that situations like this can be avoided as much as possible."

犹他谷学生健康服务高级主管威廉·埃布(William Erb)说:``不幸的是,这样的故事并不少见。 “我们对这些程序进行培训,审查和修订,以便尽可能避免这种情况。”

At most universities, students considering suicide or facing other serious issues are offered help right away. Others are asked to make an appointment. For cases that are not urgent, the wait can last from hours to months, depending on the time of year and the design of the clinic.

在大多数大学中,会为正在考虑自杀或面临其他严重问题的学生立即提供帮助。 请其他人预约。 对于非紧急情况,等待时间可能长达数小时至数月,具体取决于一年中的时间和诊所的设计。

Many schools that provided data to The AP said it takes weeks to get a first appointment. At Utah Valley, students waited an average of more than four weeks last year. At the University of Washington at Seattle, it was three weeks. During busy times at Louisiana State University, wait times stretched to four or five weeks.



To some students, waiting is just a minor problem. But it raises the risk that some young people will give up on seeking treatment, possibly leading to a worsening of their condition.

At several universities, students have organized campaigns to improve counseling services. But for mental health cases that are not urgent, some argue that waiting is not necessarily bad — and could even lead to better results.



A recent study found greater reductions in anxiety and depression at clinics that provide students ongoing meetings with counselors as opposed to a single meeting when conditions worsen. But under this system, the student might have to wait for a therapist's caseload to open up.


The rising demand for campus mental health care has been linked to many things. Public recognition of the issue has improved, leading more students to get help. Disorders that once prevented students from going to college are no longer seen as a barrier. Some people believe social media fuels anxiety, while others say the current generation of students simply has more trouble dealing with stress.


Many universities are now rethinking how they provide help, such as offering more short-term treatment programs. More students are being pushed towards group therapy or classes on dealing with anxiety. Counseling centers offer activities like yoga, and many train students to provide emotional help to one another.


Rising demand has also opened doors for businesses promising solutions. Some schools work with services that provide mental health therapy over the telephone or through video meetings. Others urge students to try software programs on their smartphones.



Words in This Story:

anxiety– n.fear or nervousness about what might happen

campus– n.the area and buildings around a university, college, or school

clinic(s) – n.a place where people get medical help

counselor(s) – n.a person who provides advice as a job

sufficient– adj. having or providing as much as is needed

benchmark– n.something that can be used as a way to judge the quality or level of other, similar things

therapy– n.the treatment of physical or mental illnesses


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