Helping Students in Distress due to Mental Illness

William B. Lawson

November 28, 2007

Video Segments

  1. How can teachers distinguish mental illness from substance abuse?
  2. How can teachers recognize depression?
  3. How can teachers recognize bipolar and attention disorders?
  4. How can teachers recognize schizophrenia?
  5. How can teachers recognize anxiety disorders?
  6. How can universitites help?
  7. How can teachers get students to seek treatment?


The tragic events at Virginia Tech University left many faculty wondering how they could help students who suffer from mental illness. In this video, award-winning psychiatrist Dr. William Lawson tells faculty how to distinguish mental illness from substance abuse and how to recognize symptoms of the mental disorders that are most common among college students. Giving special attention to the plight of African Americans, Dr. Lawson describes the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. Then, along with Dr. Ayana Watkins-Northern (Director of University Counseling Services), he explains how university administrators and faculty can help students with such symptoms receive treatment.