Counseling services make students wait

0
With only two current counselors, the counseling services at Transy are understaffed.

There is usually a long wait list for counseling services at Transylvania University, and this long wait, despite the reason, may be keeping students in need of mental health services in line to wait.

According to Kathy Susman, Coordinator of Counseling Services, in an email interview, last year “the counseling center provided services to approximately 18% of enrolled students.”

There are two counselors that work full-time at Transy, and work is being done to hire an additional part-time counselor. This may seem like plenty of counselors for a small college like Transy, but this fact in itself may somewhat explain why there tends to be such a long wait for these students: a counseling center that is understaffed.

This may seem like plenty of counselors for a small college like Transy, but this fact in itself may somewhat explain why there tends to be such a long wait for these students: a counseling center that is under-staffed.

Erinn Foglesong, the Health, Wellness, and Counseling Services Administrative Assistant, works in the counseling office and sees firsthand the people who come in for counseling. In an email interview she says that the average wait time can range from “no wait” to possibly “several weeks.” The wait may be longer at some times than others.

“Counseling requests seem to increase as stress builds throughout each semester,” said Foglesong.

Foglesong added that a student will be moved up on the wait list, or possibly seen immediately, if their need becomes “urgent.” It is clear why these urgent needs, like someone becoming suicidal, should be seen sooner than later. However, what does this do to all of the other students’ mental health while they are stuck on the waiting list?

When students are placed on the waiting list, they may be given information for some of the various community resources that they could take advantage of in the meantime. Not everyone would have the ability to drive out into the community to find other means of help, though, whether this be due to the lack of a car or an extremely busy schedule. This still leaves the question of what students in general who get stuck on the wait list are supposed to do until they can be seen.

In the case of one student, who would prefer to remain anonymous, it took over two weeks before they were able to be seen for their “rough patch,” and by that point, counseling services were no longer needed.

In the case of one student, who would prefer to remain anonymous, it took over two weeks before they were able to be seen for their “rough patch,” and by that point, counseling services were no longer needed.

However, the student says, “I think it says something about our counseling center that so many people are wanting to go and are comfortable enough to try to seek out help.” They hope that the counseling center can “expand the health and wellness staff in order to accommodate all of its students.”

Wait times for counseling can extend up to several weeks depending on the time of year.
Wait times for counseling can extend up to several weeks depending on the time of year.

Susman explains that there are some new measurements being put into place in order to combat the long wait list situation, such as a “triage system” and a better scheduling system. She also says that students should make “mental health a priority,” whether this means scheduling an appointment with one of Transy’s counselors or with some other type of counselor within the community.

 

SHARE
Previous articleTransylvania embraces ‘Unlearn Fear + Hate’ as university theme
Next articleTom Martin Intro
Jennifer Pinto
I am an English/Spanish double major who loves everything about reading and writing. I wanted to join the Rambler staff to give myself another outlet for my writing and to also help to make a difference on how the Transy campus receives news. As far as hobbies go, my favorite thing is eating peanut butter straight out of the jar.