Supporting Mental Health - A Solution-focused Approach

Dr. Roxana Samaniego

Attending a large institution like the University of Arizona can be challenging for many students as they try to adjust to new academic responsibilities, new social experiences and develop greater independence. Other students struggle with learning effective time management skills, being away from home for the first time or deciding which life path to pursue. A significant portion of students also describe struggles with developing friendships and finding ways to feel like they belong. Academic stress and poor self-care habits, such as unhealthy eating, excessive substance use, and lack of sleep are also negatively impacting the health and wellbeing of many college students. 1

These difficulties are not limited to just a few students. While many of these difficulties resolve on their own, a large proportion of college students report experiencing high levels of distress. Additionally, researchers across the country have documented increased rates of depression and anxiety among college students over the last decade. For example, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that one in five young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness. 2 Over the last few years, researchers have found that counseling center utilization increased by an average of 30–40%. 3

Students with learning and attention differences also face unique challenges. Students utilizing SALT Center services are often learning how to advocate for themselves, balancing independence with accepting academic help and learning how to best manage their own learning. Students often have to decide if and when to disclose their academic challenges to others and can experience feelings of isolation or shame. Students with learning and attention differences are also at an elevated risk for developing symptoms of anxiety and depression. 4

Meeting with a mental health provider can often be very helpful for students experiencing distress or those looking to enhance personal growth. Psychological Services at the SALT Center provide students the opportunity to receive on-site, individualized, outpatient mental health services. Students are usually referred by their Strategic Learning Specialist, but can also request services on their own. Our philosophy is to work within an evidence-based, brief and solution-focused model of psychotherapy to help provide the student with the tools needed for greater academic and personal success.

If you have any questions about Psychological Services at the SALT Center, please reach out and contact us. We are here to help. If you are able to support Psychological Services at the SALT Center, please consider making a donation to our Health and Wellness Fund.




3 Center for Collegiate Mental Health. (2018, January). 2017 Annual Report (Publication No. STA 18-166). 2015

4 Internalizing Problems of Adults With Learning Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis. Robert M. Klassen, PhD, Virginia M. C. Tze, PhD, Wanwisa Hannok, PhD. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Vol 46, Issue 4, pp. 317 – 327. First Published October 4, 2011