University of Wisconsin University Health Services hired nine new mental health care providers onto their team, four of whom will serve as generalist providers and two as care managers.

Three of the newly hired providers will work exclusively with students of color in their navigation of college life, making for a total of 11 mental health providers working exclusively with BIPOC students, according to the UW press release.

According to Director of UW Mental Health Services Sarah Nolan, the university is prioritizing supporting the mental health of students of color on campus.

“[We] believe that it is critical to have providers with experiences and identities that allow them to connect and support BIPOC students navigating life on a predominantly white campus,” Nolan said.

A 2001 landmark study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that racial and ethnic minorities experience disproportionate rates of unmet mental health needs.

The CDC also reported that the pandemic has been associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression for these groups — as well as for all U.S. adults.

Adults ages 18-29 and those with less than high school education saw the largest increases in anxiety and depression from Aug. 2020 through Feb. 2021, according to the CDC report.

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Newly-hired Care Manager Andie Schwabe describes her work as “helping students understand their insurance coverage, how to find a provider in the community, and how to seek more intensive help than [Mental Health Services] can provide.”

Schwabe said UHS’s focus is not just on remedying a student’s mental health, but also the general lack of education surrounding caring for one’s mental health.

Care management, as well as other resources, are provided through UHS, where students can access individual counseling and group counseling.

While all services are not currently in-person, students can still engage with mental health service providers virtually.

According to Nolan, the new hires are excited to mold UW’s mental health community.

“The newly hired mental health providers come to the UW community with enthusiasm, experience, and the cultural awareness and humility to support students as they pursue both academic success and personal growth,” Nolan said.

To contact MHS, call 608-265-5600 or log in to MyUHS to schedule an access appointment.