Editorial: The Counseling Center is trying, you guys

Counseling_Center
Alexis Carel /THE REVIEW
The purpose of the counseling center is to help students suffering from symptoms of a mental illness which they feel they cannot deal with alone.

BY
Managing News Editor

The Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) is the university’s omnipresent open ear. From the moment that freshmen are settled into their first-year dormitories to the second that seniors throw their caps into the air, there are stark, constant reminders that the CCSD is there to help.

Not without fault, as of recent, the CCSD has finally been addressing their long-term issues. For a while, CCSD only had one psychiatrist, who always seemed to have a full plate with no openings for the foreseeable future. However, now there is an instilled “referral coordinator” that takes care of getting students connected to long-term mental health resources. The process is arguably much easier this way, and some counselors and psychologists at the center will even offer to call these off-campus resources within a meeting.

The center recently saw a larger influx of students seeking help, so intake appointments became shorter in order to see more students throughout the day. Intake, in general, is now walk-in based and during set hours, allowing for an open-door feel.

The counseling center recognizes that it may be easier to confide in those that may have a more personal understanding of their experiences, as shown by its recent and ongoing outreach to students of color. It’s stressed there will be members of staff available for anyone to talk to, regardless of a student’s race, sex or gender, and they truly implement it. They even began walk-in hours where a staff member of color would be guaranteed to be available.

In addition to the UD Helpline, the 24/7/365 crisis phone line, they have a general crisis text line: “UDTEXT” to 741741 for confidential support over text, or “STEVE” to 741741 specifically for students of color.

Not to imply that everything is perfect over the counseling center. It has its faults, some due to capacity issues while others were due to to the short-term limitations of the help they can actually offer. But the CCSD remains truthful about what they can do for its students and have been trying to improve. They now have two psychiatrists, but it remains more likely that a student would be seeing the referral counselor for an off-campus resource instead. Still, that process is expedited greatly, so no complaints here.

There’s additionally the in-progress situation where the center will end up having to pack up and move camp from the second floor of the Perkins Student Center to Warner Hall. It still remains unsure as to when that actually ends up happening, but Residence Life and Housing said it will be in 2021.

Though the move may disrupt the peace for a moment, there are many benefits to having the center in a more discreet place. With only one staircase to the second floor (the other option being the elevator), it’s currently fair game for anyone to see students trekking upstairs. The advertisements for their services are definitely warranted, but not very conducive to eliminating that lingering stigma of seeking help for one’s mental health.

Regardless of location, in a recent article published by The Review, the director of the CCSD noted that he noticed this generation is more open to seeking help. That the “gates are open wider” in comparison to previous years. They are.

Students are seeking help, and students are getting help. The center seems to be aware of its faults, and through the extreme power of student-response surveys in tandem with actually listening to feedback over the years, it can only get better.

We hope.

This editorial is written to reflect the majority opinion of The Review staff. This week’s editorial was written by Alexis Carel, Managing News Editor. She may be reached at Carel@udel.edu.

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