Date of Publication


Project Team

Faculty advisor: Carol Buck-Rolland EdD, APRN / Community advisor: Annika Hawkins-Hilke MSH/MPH, APRN


Purpose: Mental health diagnoses and utilization of services are increasing amongst college students. Mental health prevention programs can cultivate resiliency traits that are protective of mental health. The purpose of this project is to assess for the need of a mental health prevention program at a small urban-college in Vermont and make program recommendations based on staff and student needs.

Methods: A needs assessment project was conducted at the college student health center. Separate needs surveys were created and distributed to students and student wellness staff. Student resiliency was assessed using the Brief Resiliency Scale, a validated tool. Literature review was preformed to identify potential mental health prevention programs based on student and staff needs.

Results: 14 surveys were completed by student health staff. Staff expressed a need for psychoeducation and skills building programs. Majority of staff believe the program should be required and delivered in a seminar/class or small group format. 12 student surveys were completed and resulted in an average resiliency score of 3.06 (normal resilience), median 2.83 (low resilience). Students identified stressors such as shared-living, homesickness, adjusting to college courses and mental health. Students expressed need for better access to counseling, explanation of resources and campus modifications. Three evidence-based mental health preventions programs that matched identified needs were selected.

Conclusion: Data suggests there is a need for mental health and resiliency building programing in the college setting. Several evidence-based mental health prevention programs exist and could address the needs of students and staff. Further study is needed to know if program implementation would lead to improved resiliency and mental health outcomes amongst students.

Document Type