Why Mental Health Support Matters in College

High school is a season filled with memories you’ll treasure. But it’s not an easy time. There’s pressure to earn amazing grades, get involved with activities, get a job or volunteer, attend high school and youth group events, and so much more. Add in social media, college applications, and traumatic world events, and it’s no wonder anxiety and depression are on the rise among this age group. In fact, a recent report found 25% of Gen Z respondents feel emotional distress, nearly double other demographics surveyed (source).

Students need holistic support in order to thrive while balancing the demands of college life – usually away from home and their traditional support system for the first time. Offering this support is a tenet at the core of Multnomah University. We want you to discover God’s call in your life within a career path that brings out the best of who you’re created to be, and we’re going to walk beside you in the journey. Through the joys of discovery, the disappointment of closed doors, and the grief at the state of our world, our staff and faculty walk beside every student. As we like to say around here, We Believe it’s about “we” not “me.”

“One of my favorite things about my role is that the students of Multnomah take their mental health seriously. They not only want to graduate, they want to be healthy, whole people,” says Becca Jones, Dean of Student Counseling & Wellness. “And they realize that in order to do that, they need help not only in the classroom, but they need support as a whole person. It’s a joy to walk with them on their journey.”

Multnomah offers students a variety of support services as part of their tuition, which includes access to counseling services that are rooted in Christ and held to the highest standards of psychological best practices. Nearly a third (31%) of Multnomah’s students are utilizing the counseling services at any given time. “The biggest thing, looking back, was I did feel seen,” recalls Ryan Nolan, who graduated in 2021 with a degree in Bible and Theology. “They cared more about who I was as a person than my grades or my money. They cared about me, and were able to create individual game plans.”

Every student qualifies for six free counseling sessions each semester, and additional appointments cost less ($10) than a takeout lunch down the street. Multnomah offers these counseling services to individuals, couples, families and groups because we understand life is hard and mental health matters. “Our students are doing the hard part by reaching out and showing up,” says Jones. “Caring for them as they grow is such a privilege for myself and our team.”

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”
— Nahum 1:7

So here’s our encouragement to you: It’s okay to be burned out from high school. It’s okay to be nervous about moving away to college – wondering if you’re ready or have what it takes to succeed academically. It’s okay to enter as an undeclared major. You aren’t alone in any of those worries. We hope you’ll make an appointment in our Student Counseling Center and let us into your story. Because at Multnomah, we do life together. We take care of each other. And we can’t wait for you to experience a community like ours.

Learn more about our Student Counseling & Wellness Center.