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Mental Health and Community College Students of Color: A Steve Fund Landscape Brief


There is an ongoing demographic revolution in higher education in the United States, and the state of mental health in this group is a crucial public health issue. Students of color are more likely than white students to attend community college and more than half of community college students are students of color. In 2020, students of color made up 53% of students at community colleges and 44% of students at 4-year public colleges.

Depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideation are prevalent among college students generally and have been exacerbated by the pandemic, extended isolation and racial tensions. Compared to students at four-year institutions, students in community colleges face additional challenges, have fewer campus mental health resources, and report more severe psychological issues and less frequent use of mental health resources.

This brief from The Steve Fund summarizes the state of mental health among students of color at community colleges, including the prevalence of mental health problems; mental health services utilization; and knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about mental health. It is intended to build the literature of mental health status and needs of community college students of color and to identify potential means of better serving them.

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