The WHO World Mental Health International College Student (WMH-ICS) Initiative

The college years are a crucial time period when students make the transition from late-adolescence to adulthood. Importantly, this transition takes place during an extremely sensitive part of the life cycle when emotional problems and mental disorders commonly occur. Approximately 75% of all lifetime mental disorders have their onsets prior to the age of 24, and these early-onset cases are related to poorer clinical and functional outcomes than later-onset cases. Additionally, the college years are associated with a significant increase in risky health behaviors, such as excessive alcohol and cannabis use, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Collectively, these disorders and behaviors are associated with low academic attainment. Even though effective treatments exist to address these debilitating issues, only a minority of students with mental disorders obtain treatment.

The WHO World Mental Health International College Student (WMH-ICS) Initiative is designed to: generate accurate epidemiological data on unmet for treatment of mental, substance, and behavioral disorders among college students worldwide; implement and evaluate web-based interventions for both the prevention and treatment of these disorders; and disseminate the evidence-based interventions found to be effective using a continuous quality improvement approach designed to prevent degradation of these interventions in dissemination and successively to improve targeting of interventions using precision medicine procedures.

For more information visit: http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/wmh/college_student_survey.php