Why it’s critical to have a highly responsive 24/7 Mental Health Support Line for College Students

April 26, 2023

Why it’s critical to have a highly responsive 24/7 Mental Health Support Line for College Students

Amaura Kemmerer, LICSW 
Executive Vice President of Client Engagement 

College is a time for students to have new and exciting experiences, and it can come with its fair share of challenges, making adjusting to college life hard for many. Some students may experience anxiety, depression, or loneliness as a result. Counseling Center Directors have long been reporting that more first-year students are arriving on campus with pre-existing mental health diagnoses, in addition to the fact that college is a time when mental health issues are likely to emerge. This is why colleges and universities must have a reliable 24/7 Clinical Mental Health Support Line for students. “College is a key developmental time; the age of onset for lifetime mental health problems also directly coincides with traditional college years—75 percent of lifetime mental health problems will onset by age 24,” says Sarah K. Lipson, a Boston University School of Public Health assistant professor of health law, policy, and management.   

Students experiencing an issue or crisis may be hesitant to contact on or off-campus police fearing stigma or how the police might respond, or they may feel their problem is not severe enough to warrant a call to emergency services. Christie Campus Health’s 24/7 Clinical Support Line is available to students for various concerns, including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship worries, grief, and loss.   

The 24/7 Support Line is staffed exclusively by licensed mental health counselors. It offers students unlimited and immediate access to in-the-moment support, meeting them wherever they are in their mental health journey. The clinicians can help students resolve their concerns, de-escalate issues, practice coping skills, or provide support between therapy sessions. The 24/7 availability of the Clinical Support Line can prevent situations from worsening by ensuring that students always have access to support when they need it.   

The support line is not intended to replace a school’s counseling services but to enhance the school’s offerings and protect the school counselors from burnout. As the demand for mental health services on campus increases, schools are becoming overwhelmed with requests, making it harder for students to access the care they need. Contacting the 24/7 Clinical Support Line is simple. There is no gatekeeper, triage person, or app required, nor is there a registration process. Students call the line, are instantly connected with a mental health professional, and can receive guidance immediately.   

Here is the step-by-step process of what happens when a student calls the 24/7 Clinical Support Line:  

  • A licensed mental health counselor picks up the call in 30 seconds or less.  

  • Students are given an instant risk assessment.  

  • A clinician provides in-the-moment support or offers referrals to appropriate next steps.   

  • The following steps may include referrals to treatment options, linkages to campus-based supports and programs, or other appropriate resources. Referral pathways and support options are customizable and based on existing protocols and preferences of the school.  

  • Daily reports of all calls to the 24/7 Clinical Support Line are sent to designated members of the institution’s clinical/counseling center team, ensuring coordinated care.   

Christie Campus Health is a leader in helping colleges and universities expand how they reach and support students in need, offering our mental health platform to over 100 colleges and supporting nearly 700,000 students nationally and internationally. In addition to the 24/7 Clinical Support Line, Christie also offers psychiatric prescribing, Navigators to assist with referrals and specialty care; science-backed meditation and mindfulness tools through the Headspace app; and SilverCloud, a self-directed and clinically validated Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT). Contact Christie Campus to learn more. 

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