By Hayley Douglass
Laramie, WY – A nationwide study says there's an increase of college students who seek on-campus mental health counseling. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America says it's a trend they've noticed after the events of Sept. 11. And mental health professionals say they've found that trend in Wyoming, too. Both the counseling centers at Casper College and the University of Wyoming have seen an increase in students seeking mental health services. But director of counseling at Casper College, Keith Cross, says there are two major reasons why students in any era seek counseling. For one thing mental illness is most likely to show up in the late teens to early twenties. But also, moving away from home for the first time is stressful. And he says the recent increase in student visits does not mean that there's more mental illness now than before. Instead he points to another factor. The fact that there's more awareness and there seems to be somewhat of a shift in the stigma of mental health counseling and that it's becoming a little bit more acceptable in our culture to seek mental health counseling. Cross says even with the increase in visits, he's got the staff to meet the demand.