Mental health on campus is an issue that has come to the forefront of discussion, especially with the end of National Recovery Month and the beginning of midterm season. President G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s Mental Health Task Force, formed this past May, promises to, “increase awareness and prevention of mental issues,” among students. The discussion, however, cannot be isolated to one issue. Rather, the campus view on mental health must be holistic. While allocating more resources to the Counseling Center is certainly essential, Tech could certainly benefit from a strong culture shift.
The Counseling Center serves as a vital resource for students who are dealing with all sorts of problems. Unfortunately, due to understaffing issues and inadequate funding, the center faces challenges that prevent it from reaching its full potential.
Allocating more resources to the Counseling Center can greatly help with mental health concerns.
Demand for the Counseling Center typically increases as the semester progresses. In total, the center receives 1100 to 1200 new students each year. As services become more stretched, students seeking help can be put on waiting lists that last three to four weeks. Though there is a 24-hour on-call service for emergencies, students who need ongoing help have a smaller chance of having a one-on-one session. They are instead put into group counseling sessions about general issues. Allocating more resources to the Counseling Center would allow the necessary personal counseling sessions for individuals.
The change in the stress-is-good mentality on campus could also do wonders for the student body. Perhaps the often-true legend of professors assigning unnecessarily difficult tests and putting constant pressure on students shouldn’t have any modicum of truth. Though hard work does have its benefits, any unnecessary stress that Tech students face on a daily basis must be addressed to improve mental health.