Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Shawn A. Bultsma

Second Advisor

Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury

Third Advisor

Monica Fochtman

Academic Year



Mental health services remain underutilized and stigmatized within the culture of higher education despite the important role that they play in the development of one’s emotional resiliency competence (ERC). Data suggest that mental health disorders account for nearly 50% of the total burden of disease for young adults in the United States. Students who struggle with mental health concerns in college tend to have lower grade point averages and are at greater risk for dropout than those students who do not struggle with these concerns. Counseling services are able to alleviate the symptoms of mental health concerns through the development of ERC. Yet, over 45% of undergraduate students who stop attending college due to mental health concerns had not sought counseling assistance before withdrawing. In order to address the underutilization of counseling services, this study focuses on the impact that counseling services have on students’ development of ERC. The researcher examined this comparison using a quantitative, random, representative survey of undergraduate students at a public, Midwestern university. The survey utilized the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 25 (CD-RISC-25), a 25-item survey which assesses emotional and psychological resiliency. Study results indicated a significant relationship between ERC and experience with mental health struggles. Further research implications are explored.