Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dena R. Kniess


Mental health on college campuses is a large focus, as students attending college with diagnosed mental illnesses are becoming more prevalent (Hunt & Eisenberg, 2010). While college campuses should be a safe and supportive environment for students, many faculty and staff do not know the resources available to students, nor are faculty and staff able to identify when students are suffering from a mental illness (Bateman, 1997). This study was designed to identify staff and faculty's ability to work with students with mental illness, including identifying warning signs, as well as recognizes campus resources. The study took place at a mid-size, Midwestern university. Using a qualitative approach, the researcher interviewed six participants, including two residence life professionals, two academic advisors, and two faculty members in regards to their preparedness when addressing mental health with students and staff and faculty's perceptions of their own competency of mental illness. The data was then analyzed for common themes and trends. Results found that Student Affairs professionals are better able to work with students with mental illness compared to professionals in Academic Affairs.