Much needed mental health support

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 6:32 PM
Much needed mental health support by Courtney Balcombe
Edinboro C.A.P.S. is housed in Ghering Health Center. | Photo: Courtney Balcombe

Mental health struggles are not uncommon for students starting college. Maybe they just came from another state or country, which is causing them more stress than the student going home every weekend. Maybe they’re on an extreme budget. Maybe it’s carryover pain from their high school days.

The Edinboro University campus has a program to help these students that struggle in adjusting to college life.

The Ghering Health Center is available to enrolled students, if the health fee, $150, is paid in the student’s tuition each semester.

According to the Edinboro University website, “The Counseling and Psychological Services, or C.A.P.S. program, is available each semester for students with mental health concerns, offering clinical services that help students achieve their personal and academic goals.”

C.A.P.S. also aims to educate the campus community about the emotional and developmental needs of students through community level interventions, including outreach, programming and consultation.

One of the many counselors provided through C.A.P.S. is Dr. Mary Wolf, clinical psychologist, who is available to work with students who schedule to meet with her.

Wolf has worked with the Edinboro student body for 25 years, but in the field for a total of 30 years.

“Edinboro is fit for me…I like it as a public institution because we provide educational means to all students,” said Wolf. “The college years are a critical time for students in terms of their educational growth, but also personal and social growth.”

Each semester, 200 or more students use the C.A.P.S. program, but they may only see the medical professional for one or two sessions. However, in every academic school year students can utilize up to 10 sessions with this program.

To set up appointments with the C.A.P.S. professionals, the student will meet with the clinical case manager, Haley Atkins, for an evaluation to determine which kind of help the student needs. If the student may need more time with a professional, they are referred to an office off-campus that will accept their insurance.

Wolf explained how many colleges and universities have counseling services available, but they are offering fewer sessions to their students.
“We really wish we didn’t have to put a limit on the number of sessions,” Wolf said. “When I started here, 25 years ago, it was eight sessions. We argued it wasn’t enough and it was able to be raised to 10.”

C.A.P.S. tries to stretch out the 10 sessions it offers over the course of the whole year for students to have more access to it.

Students learn new techniques that will help them manage their stressors that is unique to their specific needs; they are able to then take that with them to utilize throughout college or even after college.

“We encourage students to come in and utilize our services for whatever they may need us for,” Wolf said. “If a student met with Haley on a Thursday, they would probably be in the same day or the next day depending on their availability.”

If you want to make an appointment, call (814) 732-2252. You can also visit on campus, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., or Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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