Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Sayamwong (Jom) Hammack

Second Advisor

Jay Silveira

Third Advisor

Mary Burke


Medicine, Mental Health, CAPS, Biopsychosocial, Students, Policy




The Centre for Mental Health (CMH) cites evidence that “60% of disability experienced by those aged 15-34 years is caused by mental illness; as such, it represents a major burden of disease for this age group and should be a public health improvement priority (Khan, 2016).” This thesis aspires to provide an overview of the current mental healthcare systems, and their known weaknesses, within the United States and its colleges and universities before delving into the specific mental healthcare systems and issues at the University of Vermont (UVM). I then aim to offer potential improvements for UVM’s mental healthcare system through concrete and affordable recommendations to increase the resiliency and decrease the vulnerability of the university’s students.


I utilized publicly accessible sources of information about the mental healthcare system; several electronic databases were scoured for reliable information regarding mental health, mental ill-health, and the mental healthcare systems of the U.S. and its institutions of higher learning. Next, I subjected this information to qualitative analysis via a case study of UVM. Existing programs at other universities were then used to provide recommendations for improvements at UVM.


The mental healthcare services at UVM appear to strive towards a goal of excellence, which places them above the general U.S. mental healthcare system. The current system of providers, locations, and patients provides an established framework for a potentially effective system. However, there remain avenues for university officials to obtain an increased understanding of the efficacy and impact of the mental ill-health situation, care models, and communications on campus. Hopefully, especially with continued student efforts to push our university towards excellence, we will witness the continued improvement of student resiliency and quality of life in the coming years at UVM.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.