Campus Safety

Mental Health, COVID Safety Top Concerns for Higher Ed in the Coming Year

New research finds that, in higher education, student and faculty/staff mental health are high up on the list of safety concerns, although COVID–19 safety measures remain the top concern.

According to new research from Rave Mobile Safety, student COVID-related safety measures ranked No. 1 among higher education professionals', with 71% of respondents citing it as one of their top concerns. The No. 2 spot went to student mental health, with 59% of respondents citing it as a top concern, followed by faculty/staff mental health in third with 44%.

That contrasts fairly dramatically with findings on the K–12 side of the education space, where COVID-related safety measures came in second, behind student mental health and tying with staff/faculty mental health as top concerns.

Compared with a year ago, a majority (56%) are more concerned than before about the state of students' mental health, with more than half of those only "slightly more concerned."

Even more, 58%, are more concerned about staff and faculty mental health than they were a year ago, with most of those only "slightly more concerned."

The report, Crisis Communication and Safety in Education Survey: Concerns, Challenges & Planning for the 2022–2023 School Year, involved responses from more than 800 K–12 and higher education professionals in "administration, emergency management, facilities and operations, IT services, marketing and communications, safety and security and student services."

Among other major safety concerns for the coming school year were:

  • Crime at 41%
  • Maintaining adequate staff at 34%;
  • Severe weather at 34%;
  • Physical health of students and faculty and staff at 30%
  • Physical health of students at 27%
  • Active assailants at 25%; and
  • Medical emergencies at 20%.

To address these concerns, the study found, 39% plan to increase investment in mental health resources. Other measures respondents said they expect to implement included:

  • Increased investment in COVID-related safety resources (45%);
  • Increasing availability of health and wellness resources (39%);
  • Increased spending on safety/security staff (30%);
  • Daily checks for health for students (24%);
  • Increased investment in security-related technology (23%); and
  • Increased spending on "physical hardening," such as bulletproof glass (22%).

Fifteen percent said "none of the above."

The full report is available on Rave Mobile Safety's website.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .