Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type

DNP Project



Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Molly Kuhle

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Linda Gibson

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Lawrence Santiago


College students across the U.S. are experiencing an increasing prevalence of mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression. Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among U.S. college students. At the project site, the university health services report that mental health issues significantly impact the students’ academic progress, contributing to poor performance, inability to complete assignments, and sometimes forces attrition. Campus providers traditionally respond when students approach, often at the point of crisis or exacerbation. This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project evaluated the impact of a pilot program using an interdisciplinary approach to universal proactive mental health screening and triage. A retroactive chart audit (RCA) was utilized to evaluate the outcomes of this mental health pilot program. Out of a total of 287 students agreeing to participate during their primary care appointment visit, 61 participants scored at-risk for anxiety and/or depression on the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 and were referred to an in-house behavioral health consultant (BHC). The majority of at-risk participants (39.3%, n=24) scheduled and attended at least one follow-up appointment with a BHC. The results suggest the usefulness of a comprehensive, proactive mental health program in detecting undergraduate students at risk for anxiety and/or depression. This approach has the potential to address mental health issues among college students in a timely fashion and improve not just individual mental health but academic success.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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