By Kimberly “Charlie” Treloar |Staff Writer|
The psychological counseling center on campus is understaffed and could use more therapists to better assist students who are in need.
It’s getting closer to finals time and the tension in the air is so thick it could be cut with a knife. Students are beginning to feel the pressure and panic build as their school and personal lives are colliding together this time of year. The school can help with these overwhelming feelings, all you have to do is call.
There’s no shame in admitting you need someone to talk to, in fact it has been proven that talking about your problems can help improve your overall health.
On an average day the center sees 40 appointments that consist of both individual and couples counseling. Students who go to the center on a regular basis at best can meet with a therapist every two to four weeks because of the high amount of students seeking psychological services.
The center is booked for the rest of the winter quarter. If students want to see a therapist before the end of the quarter, they have to be put onto a waitlist and then check back to see if there have been any cancellations or open availability.
The psychological counseling center currently has 11 therapists that work for the center. Eight of these therapists are regular staff members and the remaining three are interns working on completing their hours for licensing. With CSUSB having 17,000 students, that is only one counselor for every 1,545 students.
Can you see the lack of availability here? “I wish I could see students on a regular basis. But it’s just not possible. I constantly have students being added to my list to see and that makes it harder to see my other students regularly.
I try to help those students the best I can,” said a CSUSB therapist who asked to remain anonymous. The center besides providing individual and couples’ counseling, also has group sessions that meet each quarter.
According to the CSUSB Student Health and Psychological Counseling Center website, students’ health fees support and operate both centers.
The groups that meet currently this quarter and will continue on into the spring quarter are: Women’s Group, LGBTQQI Group (which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex), Student Veterans Group, Interpersonal Co-Ed group, Growing through Grief group and Developmental Parenting classes.
Each quarter the center also offers wellness workshops that take place in the Lower Commons. Although the number of counselors that the center employs is beyond their control, I feel this is a situation that needs further assistance from school administration and we as students could help too.
Instead of raising students’ health fees again in order to hire more therapists, I feel that we could solve this problem in a different manner. I believe that we should raise money to help the center so that they can provide more availability for students who are in need.
I think with the help of ASI and other groups on campus, we could put together a benefit dinner or hold an auction in which we could get community members involved and raise funds this way.
At the very least the center would be able to hire another therapist or help another intern complete the hours they need for licensing. “As a psychology major I see the importance of having and needing this service,” said Alyssa Pettey, student assistant at the center. “I would like to see more availability and see students be able to come in more often,” she said.
This is something that we can do as students to not only help ourselves but help those around us. The center needs to be able to service students when they have their needs.
It’s time that we make a change and help do something about the things we don’t have.