Psychiatric Impairments

Psychiatric or mental health impairments are broad and range from mild depression to chronic disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Negative stereotypes and the fact that these disabilities are typically "invisible" further complicate making accommodations for students with these disorders.

Students with mental health or psychiatric impairments can be affected in several ways. They may be more susceptible to the common stressors of college life involving academic demands as well as interpersonal relationships and living alone or away from home for the first time. Students may have particular problems receiving, processing and recalling information during times of stress.

Side effects from medication may also impact attention, memory, alertness, and activity level. The episodic and unpredictable onset and recurrence of illness can also interrupt the educational process.

Individuals with psychiatric impairments may be treated with a combination of medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy. A student with a psychiatric impairment may need to build time into his schedule for therapy and/or supportive services. UWM students who request or need counseling and medical support are referred to Norris Health Center on the UWM campus.

Accommodations for students who have mental health impairments may include:
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