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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of Knowledge and Perceptions of Campus Mental Health Services on College Students’ Academic Performance


This study investigates how knowledge and perceptions about mental health and campus services affect the academic performance of college students. Using the 2017-2018 Healthy Minds Study, this analysis focuses on the differences in prevalence of anxiety and depression, in addition to opinions and awareness of mental health services across academic degree. By using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD-7), and survey data on students’ attitudes, knowledge, and utilization of campus mental health services, Grade Point Average (GPA) is evaluated to measure these effects on academic performance using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS). This study ultimately finds that knowledge and personal stigma have significance impacts on academic performance, especially when controlling for depression and anxiety prevalence. These findings can be used to help colleges and universities effectively promote the use of mental health services by destigmatizing mental health and increasing students’ awareness of the services available.

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