Mental Health Treatment Seeking Among Veteran and Civilian Community College Students

Publication Abstract

Fortney, John C., Geoffrey M. Curran, Justin B. Hunt, Liya Lu, Daniel Eisenberg, and Marcia Valenstein. 2017. "Mental Health Treatment Seeking Among Veteran and Civilian Community College Students." Psychiatric Services, 68(8): 851-855.

Objective:A Web-based survey examined treatment seeking among community college students to inform the design of engagement interventions.Methods:Veteran and civilian community college students (N=765) were screened for mental disorders and reported perceptions of treatment need, effectiveness, and stigma, as well as service use. Regression analysis identified predictors of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy use.Results:Of the 511 students who screened positive for a current mental disorder or reported a perceived need for treatment (149 veterans and 362 civilians), 30% reported past-year use of psychotropic medications. Predictors were perceived treatment need (odds ratio [OR]=7.81, p<.001) and the perception that psychotropic medications are effective (OR=3.38, p=.012). Eleven percent of participants reported past-year psychotherapy use, and predictors were a positive screen for posttraumatic stress disorder (OR=2.78, p=.04) and poorer financial status.Conclusions:Modifiable barriers, including perceived need for and effectiveness of treatment, were correlated with pharmacotherapy use and should be targeted by engagement interventions.


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