AOL co-founder launches site for students' mental health

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - As college students leave home and head off to school, Internet entrepreneur Steve Case has launched a new Web site to help them deal with being apart from their families and handle depression.

Case, who co-founded AOL, on Wednesday added a section to health Web site called “College Health Center” that provides information on mental and sexual health, relationships, healthy lifestyle choices and personal safety.

He said increasing attention was being paid to the mental health of students following the Virginia Tech University shooting in April when student Seung-Hui Cho gunned down 32 people then killed himself in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“I was surprised to learn that half of all college students report being so depressed they couldn’t function last year,” Case told Reuters.

Case said the site aimed to help college students deal with everything from depression on arriving on campus to filling the gap left without their usual social support systems.

Case said the Web often is the first stop for most information-seeking young adults as well as increasingly becoming a starting place for people with health questions.

“It seemed like the obvious place to put information,” he said.

The site is kicking off the back-to-school season with an online mental health fair, partnering with 11 national nonprofit groups focused on issues such as anxiety, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Case launched in April, attracting about 4 million users at the end of July. The site includes services such as physician ratings, information about health conditions and treatments and online health records.