Recognizing and Supporting Students with Mental Health Disorders: The REDFLAGS Model

Michael Thomas Kalkbrenner

Abstract


The increasing prevalence of Mental Health Disorders (MHDs) and campus violence tragedies has called attention to the issue of MHDs on college campuses. The current article provides an overview of the prevalence and severity of MHDs among college students. In addition, a review of the most common MHDs on college campuses is included. Students with MHDs are at increased risks for a variety of negative consequences. Students who received treatment for MHDs reported a more positive daily functioning and demonstrated significantly higher retention rates. However, a large proportion of the students who are living with MHDs do not receive treatment. Furthermore, college counselors typically only interact with a small proportion of the students who are living with MHDs. Faculty members have more frequent interactions with students and are a valuable resource for recognizing students who are living with MHDs. The REDFLAGS Model, an acronym that identifies eight behavioral indicators of MHDs in students is introduced. A description of how educators can use the REDFLAGS Model as a tool for recognizing signs of MHDs in their students is described. It is not recommended that educators provide treatment for MHDs to their students. Rather, educators can use The REDFLAGS Model to recognize signs of MHDs in students and support them by making referrals to the college counseling center or to other resources. A resource list of mental health support services that are available for college students is included. The resource list can be customized to include resources at specific universities in particular geographic areas.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v3i1.8141

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