graduate student, mental health, mental health service utilization, pandemic


Health Psychology | Higher Education | Mental and Social Health | Psychology


Objective: The current study explored differences in mental health problems, services utilization, and support of graduate students by gender, race/ethnicity, and year in school.

Participants: Participants consisted of 734 graduate students from a large, Midwestern university.

Methods: Graduate students answered a series of questionnaires in fall 2021 assessing their mental health, services utilization, and perception of services.

Results: Women (vs men) and participants in their second year and beyond (vs first year) reported greater mental health problems, negative impact of the pandemic, and more services utilization. White (vs non-White) participants reported greater negative impact of the pandemic, greater services utilization, and less financial strain. Finances, lack of knowledge about resources, and inadequate communication from the university about services were reported as treatment barriers.

Conclusion: Graduate students struggle with mental health, and universities may need to improve communication with and tailor their services to graduate students specifically to better support them.


This is an original manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of American College Health, on November 17, 2022, and available at