The growing need for mental health support and treatment — and the incidence of crises — have raised considerable concerns on university campuses and in the communities in which they reside about the availability of resources to address this trend. The necessity for qualified mental health professionals in a university setting is as crucial as it is in the general public, but studies indicate that the majority of college students do not typically receive treatment, and attention given to supporting students’ mental wellness needs nationwide have been insufficient. Engineering students, in particular, have reported lower to lowest rates of treatment utilization compared to student cohorts in other academic disciplines.
To help address this disparity, the Engineering Wellness Dialogues and Needs Assessments study was launched to better understand (1) HWCOE doctoral students’ mental wellness needs, as well as facilitators and barriers to meeting their needs, and (2) HWCOE faculty’s awareness of HWCOE doctoral students’ mental wellness needs, as well as facilitators and barriers to supporting these needs. The gained knowledge will facilitate building an educational environment in HWCOE that actively fosters mental wellness as an essential part of students’ learning and growth. This study is made possible by the UF Provost sponsored Creative Campus Initiative grant.
Mei-Fang Lan, Ph.D.
Clinical associate professor and licensed psychologist at the UF Counseling and Wellness Center
Dr. Mei-Fang Lan is a clinical associate professor and licensed psychologist at the Counseling and Wellness Center. In collaboration with the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering (HWCOE), Dr. Lan is the principal investigator of the Engineering Wellness Dialogues and Needs Assessments project and the 2020-2021 HWCOE Creative Scholar-in-Residence. This study aims to promote a movement in HWCOE to create, build, and sustain a culture which values and encourages active mental wellness engagement.