Which health messages will reach African American students? | UMSL Daily: African American college students are among those least likely to seek help for mental health issues, and a pair of researchers from the University of Missouri–St. Louis would like to find out how to change that.
Sha-Lai Williams, assistant professor of social work, and Stephanie Van Stee, assistant professor of communication, have obtained a $45,000 University of Missouri Research Board Grant to study which messages are most likely to encourage African American college students to seek help.
African Americans are about half as likely as the general population to seek support for mental health needs, and college students have utilization rates of 20 percent or less, Williams said. The problems of utilization are compounded when individuals are members of both populations.
“Students with untreated mental illness will be less likely to graduate, secure employment and more likely to be homeless,” Williams said. “It’s a hodgepodge of risk for this particular population.”