Fitchburg State College Disability Services

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Fitchburg State College Disability Services

Catalog Entry

This artifact shows the significance of helping people who have mental disabilities and also teaches staff and faculty about the different kinds of mental disorders and disabilities that affect the student population. This tool for assisting students with disabilities was written by Mary Catherine, a learning specialist, in 1997 to help Fitchburg State College Disability Services assist the student body.

A very important factor for understanding this artifact is to understand mental disability. Mental disability or illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Every person is different with a disability and may experience different effects of the same or different diagnosis. There are many different factors that can cause someone to have a mental health condition, some of these include genetics, environmental and lifestyle influences, and traumatic events that occurred in someone's life. There are many conditions that students face today but the most popular conditions among students are ADHD, anxiety disorders, autism, depression, and OCD. In order to help these students, we must know the warning signs such as eating less, sleep loss, having low energy or feeling sad but most importantly knowing truly what mental illness is. This booklet is the bridge that helps those with mental disabilities, it’s the hand that helps pick up those who are down and also the voice that will call out to those feeling like they can’t go on anymore. This booklet is a vital tool for teaching and incorporating services for those that need help. It allows for the staff and students to be a community that is aware and understands mental disability and also helps us include everyone with it as well.

Mental health conditions and disabilities is a very big topic in today's society. In the pre-modern era of society, disability was misunderstood, especially mental disability. Disability was thought of as an impairmentthat links it to a medical problem. Mental disability was considered to be taboo. But we must understand that mental illness and disability is something that affects so many people across the world today. In the United States alone, 46.4% of the population experience a mental illness during their lifetime,about 43.8 million people experience a mental illness in a year. Half of these people experience it by the age of 14 and three quarters by the age of 24, and only 41% of all these people seek help and treatment. Mental health and disability is a very hard set of challenges because they can be visible and invisible to others. In today's society and over the course of recent decades there has been a drastic increase in mental health illness and disability within colleges and their students because more people feel safe to get help.

Students in college today face many hard challenges and obstacles throughout their stay at college, and with that comes many side effects that can affect the student greatly. Many students today experience or have a form of mental disability/ illness in college. Recent studies have shown that 80% of students feel overwhelmed, 30% struggle with work due to a mental health disability and a mere 7% of students have reported they have a mental health disability. Many of the students will experience some form of depression over the course of college due to mental health disability in relation to college. All of this leads to many hazardous outcomes for students.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among college students today, 9% of college students contemplated suicide within the past year alone. Mental health disability in school also leads to binge eating, anorexia, and alcohol and drug abuse. Stress is also another form of mental health disability that is experienced by 28% of college students due to their course load and other responsibilities. stress,leads to many other mental health difficulties and for students such as struggles with identity, self-harm, and bipolar disorder. Because of these many challenges faced by college students, it is vital that services are set up to help them.

With mental health and disability disclosures at an all time high, having information like the booklet is necessary for students to succeed in college with mental health disabilities, and also it allows for teachers and staff to grow and teach to their full potential for themselves and the students. This booklet offers many insights on the topic of mental health disability, it offers a description of mental disability, common conditions, a set of rules and treatment for the staff to offer to the students to help them. Having this information is important because it makes care and supporting the student easier on the staff and student, it allows for quality care and also better quality of life which can help someone with mental health disability, some of these things include one on one interactions with health professionals and patient confidentiality. Both of those help staff and students assist and understand each other in terms of mental health disability. There are many things that can be done to assist people in and outside of the classroom setting. One of the most important things that can be done is treating someone with mental health disabilities with the same respect as you would with anyone else, you can also listen carefully and be empathetic. Many actions can be taken within the classroom to accommodate student needs as well. For students with mental health disabilities it can be hard for them to learn in the classroom so it’s important for teachers to be educated on the topic of mental health. Teachers can provide many accommodations such as special seating, private feedback on exams, exams in alternate rooms, the use of assistive devices and also referring students to the appropriate people to talk to. This booklet is extremely vital for the teachers and staff because they have such a huge impact on each student every day.

Mental health disabilities affect many people across the world, and some of these people include students. Many students today face difficulties in their everyday lives that can make it hard to adapt to academic obligations. It can be very hard to see and help someone with a mental health disability due to how complex it can be. But with the right guidance and resources there can be many good advances in the ways we help people. This booklet is the foundation of awareness and also the helping hand to those that need it. It allows for people to know the definition of disability and how to help those with it as well. Implementing this book can lead to a college of students and individuals that know the right course of action to help people and also create a community of inclusion. Colleges like Fitchburg State University and other campuses across the country can benefit from having a book like this, and with it, the futures of students academic and life success can grow tremendously.


Gerbman, Adam. “How Teacher Help Students with Mental Health Disorders: Vantage Point.” ​Vantage Point Recovery,​ 12 July 2019,

“Mental Health Guide.” ​Collegestats​, 2019,

“My Parents' Support Shaped My Recovery.”

Rubina, Kapil. “5 Surprising Mental Health Statistics.” ​Mental Health First Aid,​ 6 Feb. 2019,

“What Is Mental Health?”​, 2019,

Artifact Owner

Fitchburg State University Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library Archives & Special Collections

Artifact Condition

The condition of the artifact is good. It seems to be the original copy that belonged to the group that owned it. The pages are in good shape and there was one apparent marking which looked like a signature on one of the first pages of the booklet. Near the spine of the booklet it seems to be bent and stuck in a position but not totally deforming the booklet itself.

Artifact Material

The artifact is typed and printed on what seems to be the original paper of the booklet itself. The front and back cover is made from a heavy duty blue paper and the inside consists of plain white paper with labels for the different sections of content. The booklet is held together by a plastic ring system.

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Chase Carlson, Student, Fitchburg State University


Joshua Atemkeng, Student, Fitchburg State University



“Fitchburg State College Disability Services,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed February 4, 2023,

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