Students at SRU have expressed their concern with the lack of staffing at the counseling center in Rhoades Hall after trying to schedule a time to meet with the counseling representatives and being informed that they’ll have to wait at least four weeks for an appointment.
The counseling center is actually a great outlet for students on campus who need an extra ear to listen to their thoughts and concerns, and could be used to relieve stress, anxiety and other internal struggles. With the lack of staffing at SRU’s counseling center, Slippery Rock students are now being held back from the therapy or treatment that may be necessary for them to succeed here at SRU. According to a report by the Center of Collegiate Mental Health, a total of annual appointments provided by college counseling centers increased by 38.4 percent between 2009 and 2014. Since this is such a drastic trend upward, it’s actually become an issue for many university counseling centers because, like SRU, the schools simply don’t have the proper staffing to accommodate the vast amount of students. Students with anxiety, depression and other disorders may need a professional to talk to, and telling them they have to wait four weeks for an appointment is not beneficial. The problem that student may be having could have reached a tipping point by the time of their appointment, and by then it’s too late.
To solve this problem, universities such as Slippery Rock should take a step back and evaluate this situation as a serious matter. College can be stressful enough for the average student, but everyone also has personal and mental battles outside of the classroom. Sometimes, the classwork can add to that stress. SRU should seriously consider improving the counseling center for the benefit of its students. The counseling center can offer much-needed assistance to students who simply need to have a serious conversation with another person who is unbiased and willing to moderate the conversation.
Having a counseling center on campus for students to use is great for Slippery Rock University. A lot more effort should be given to care for both its staff and the students who utilize it, considering that students pay for it through tuition it whether or not they can get an appointment. Sometimes, counseling centers like this could be the greatest lifeline a college student, and those meetings can impact them tremendously.