The number of students with McBurney Disability Resource Center VISAS soared over 10 years, causing the center to embark on mental health awareness initiatives.Image By: Betsy Osterberger-Cardinal File Photo
McBurney Center encourages equity, wellness as number of mental health cases climb
A student struggling with mental illness while also balancing finals, papers and other college stress may look to UW-Madison’s McBurney Center as a viable care option.
Mental health cases are increasing on a national level. This is reflected in the UW-Madison McBurney Disability Resource Center as the number of students seeking VISAS grows, according to the 2017 Annual McBurney Budget report.
The number of students registered with the McBurney Office who suffer from mental illness has skyrocketed since 2008, when there were only about 15 cases, according to Mari
“The McBurney Center’s role on campus is to work with students, staff and faculty to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to their coursework and related activities on campus,”
Students apply for a VISA on the official McBurney website. Applications are then sent to a doctor or clinic for official diagnosis, verifying that the disability is legitimate under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA defines a person with a disability as someone “who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.”
“At the McBurney Center, we determine if the student’s condition substantially limits activities such as concentrating, reading, thinking, etc., and then determine, with their input, what accommodations would mitigate the impact of the condition,”