Danielle Romanelli Staff Writer
Eastern takes pride in the fact that they offer psychological counseling services, free of charge, to all Eastern students. While this service is appreciated and helpful for many students, Eastern is not doing enough to cater to their students needs.
When someone goes to CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) for the first time, there is a preliminary hour and a half screening session for any students who want to receive counseling. These appointments are booked for weeks, if not months in advance, making it almost impossible for students to get help when they need it. After the preliminary screening session takes place, it can take several more weeks to get placed into counseling, based on the necessity of the student. Although they are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, there is not enough time or people to cater to the needs of all the students who want help. I personally believe, and know several other students who believe, this is extremely wrong on Eastern’s part. There should be more counselors hired, more time for screening, and more availability.
While I understand that the counselors are fully booked, and they are working to their fullest extent to assist students who need help, more needs to be done. The only way to solve this problem is to hire significantly more counselors. It is unfair and unethical to the students at Eastern that they come to this school with the belief that they can receive free counseling, when in reality, they may have to wait more than a semester just to get a scheduled time with a therapist. I know an abundance of people who have absolutely needed counseling and have had to go off campus to receive it, which can cost a large amount of money.
CAPS also has “walk in hours,” but these hours are almost impossible to find on the website. CAPS’ mission statement claims that “an essential part of a student’s education involves developing an understanding of themselves and how they interact with the world around them.” This goal cannot happen unless the students here have the ability to get appointments at CAPS when needed. Eastern needs to step up, work harder, and hire more counselors in order to provide the students with the service they promise.
Services like these are vital on any college campus. The necessary tools to help students through rough times should be easily accessible. Mental illness is prevalent among college-aged students and needs to be treated with more care. If you or someone you know is struggling, give them a helping hand because currently Eastern doesn’t have the resources to do so.
“Eastern needs to step up, work harder, and hire more counselors in order to provide the students with the service they promise.”