Black Students Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Help

January 14, 2016

African-American students feel less mentally prepared for college than white students do but are also less likely to discuss those concerns or seek help for mental health issues, a new study has found.

The study, based on a survey of 1,500 freshmen by Harris Poll, was released Wednesday by the Jed Foundation, an organization that works with colleges to prevent campus suicides, and the Steve Fund, a new group dedicated to studying and improving the mental health of students of color.

The online poll found that black students were nearly twice as likely as white students to say they considered transferring during their first semester of college. Fewer than half of black students rated their experience at college as "good" or "excellent," compared to about two-thirds of white students. Yet white students were about twice as likely to have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. Three-quarters of black students said they tend to keep their feelings about the difficulty of college to themselves.

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