The Mental Health Issues Every School Must Address
April 18, 2007
Psychologist Susan Lipkins is the country's foremost expert on high school and campus violence. In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, she shares the psychological issues she feels all schools need to address now.
"These days, following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, we are all in shock. The actual enormity of the event is hard to digest immediately, and as the days continue, we will process the information and its implications.
However, for those students on that campus, there are some specific issues to be addressed. For example, those students who are presently on campus, and are taking medications for anxiety, sleep or depression, should be in contact with the doctor who prescribed the medication, their therapist and their family. This holds true for students who may have suffered a previous traumatic incident as well. The research indicates that it is this population that is most at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.
For students across the nation, who experience anxiety or panic, difficulty sleeping, difficulty with concentration or depression, they should speak with their close friends, family members or clergy [members] and seek support from a mental health provider. As mentioned above, students who have defined mental health issues should be in contact with their therapist.
Colleges should be more alert to students seeking help at this time and provide extra personnel to meet their needs."