Campus organizations, student groups, and the administration are joining together to address this growing problem through dialogue, care, and dedicated resources.
Over the past 20 years, colleges and universities across the country have seen a significant increase in the number of students who are experiencing mental health issues. The pandemic, along with multiple cultural and societal stressors, added to the challenges students face—many of whom are away from their homes for the first time.
Dartmouth students, alumni, faculty, and the administration have all responded to this crisis, collaborating to find solutions, and supporting efforts to ensure the well-being of every student on campus.
In her inaugural address, President Beilock noted that “anxiety, stress, and depression—particularly among young people—are at an all-time high” and called supporting the well-being of the Dartmouth community “the single greatest service we can do for our students, our faculty, and our staff.”
Within the past two years, Dartmouth’s wellness initiatives have included:
- A campaign by the Young Alumni Campaign Advisory Committee that successfully raised more than $1 million to provide counseling services and preventative care.
- Enhanced access to the Student Counseling Center and the Student Wellness Center, with its new Tranquility Room, in Berry Library.
- The launching of the Commitment to Care strategic plan in October of this year, an institution-wide initiative to support the mental health of graduate, professional, and undergraduate students at Dartmouth.
- Recently hosting a symposium on student mental health that included all living U.S. surgeons general
- The creation of a new chief health and wellness officer position to advise President Beilock
“There is a growing recognition that you need physical wellness, mental wellness, spiritual wellness…all these things together.” – Jessica Chiriboga ’24, Student Body President of Dartmouth
The Commitment to Care initiative is organized around five goals: centering student well-being in and out of the academic context, creating an inclusive environment, equipping students with skills to navigate success and failure, proactively addressing student mental illness, and investing in new applications of evidence-based approaches to respond to changing needs.
Effectively supporting student mental health requires an ongoing, institution-wide commitment. Proactively addressing student mental health and well-being is a top priority for President Beilock, the Board of Trustees, and all leaders across Dartmouth. The president’s expertise as a cognitive scientist who studies anxiety and stress places her in a prime position to lead this work.