As Fall Semester Approaches, Institutions Struggle to Address Student Mental Health Concerns

Next month, Eden Schiano will start college for the second time.

Her first try came last year in fall 2020 when she enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University. She’d been looking forward to college since she was young and dreaming about theater. But Schiano didn’t know she would develop an eating disorder in high school, and she never anticipated that her first year in college would be timed with a global pandemic. She also did not expect that, within weeks of attending her first virtual class, she would be diagnosed with bipolar II.

Last September, Schiano dropped out.

With the pandemic still in full swing and the student mental health crisis continuing to worsen, how should colleges prepare for the coming year? That’s the question that higher education leaders are contemplating.

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