Detecting and Managing Mental Health Issues within Young Adults. A Systematic Review on College Counselling in Italy

Alberto Ghilardi, Chiara Buizza*, Egle Miriam Carobbio, Rossella Lusenti
Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy

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© 2017 Ghilardi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; Tel: +39 030 3717429; Fax: +39 030 3717207; E-mail:



College counselling can be considered as a front-line service in detecting and managing mental health issues within young adults. In this sense, it is important to investigate the effectiveness of counselling interventions.


To provide a systematic review about college counselling in Italy; to assess which psychological interventions really meet student needs, and their effectiveness; to focus on the level of cohesion between Italian counselling services and the international guidelines about college counselling.


A systematic review about college counselling through PsycInfo and PubMed was carried out. Because of the scarceness of pertinent available articles, the survey was extended to Google Scholar and Riviste Web. Keywords: counselling, mental health, wellbeing, psychological support, university, students, Italy.


Out of thirty-four articles retrieved, 16 are relevant to academic counselling, the other 18 have been considered not pertinent to the aim of the present review. Data show a lack of homogeneity in methodology and organization between each University: different approaches towards students’ needs. Furthermore, no follow-up studies or measurement of effectiveness were found.


This review is a contribution to disseminate the results of counselling experiences in Italy and represents an effort to encourage colleagues working in a web environment to share results and methods for a more organized protocol application.

Keywords: College counselling, Psychological support, Students, Efficacy, Italy.