BRIDGING THE GAP: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR FULLY ONLINE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
For this action research project, the concern of the researcher is that fully online students at The University of Southern Mississippi are not currently receiving adequate resources and support concerning mental health services. The purpose of this study was to assess the awareness and attitudes of the student population, in addition to their desires for increased mental health services.
A Mental Health Resource Questionnaire was administered to 140 fully online students within the School of Child and Family Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi. Data was collected on 40 respondents to the questionnaire. The entirety of the population study was female. This qualitative study was structured with open ended questions and an academic needs assessment survey
The results indicated that students are interested in receiving mental health resources and that both outreach and actions as an institution could be expanded for this population. Students appear to have a desire for mental health services to be provided in an online format. The respondents wish for equality of services for students. Students had a positive attitude towards increased anonymity and reduction of stigma when presented an online format option for mental health services.