Lack of mental health services hurts Chico State of mind

Mental health, food security and housing are all major contributions to whether students will succeed. If these needs are not taken care of it is difficult for students to want to or be able to continue with school.

Chico State needs to put more value on its student’s mental health and expand student services that help take care of these needs.

The Counseling and Wellness Center is a great service students have available to them and it is included in their tuition and fees. However, making an appointment here can discourage many from ever using the center.

There are not enough counselors to treat all of the students seeking help. The front desk advises students to call in the morning right when they open to schedule an appointment.

There is no guarantee you will be able to get an appointment if you call early in the morning, it all depends on whether another student happened to cancel their appointment.

“Emergency appointments” are available but they are only 15 minutes long, which cannot provide the help some students need.

After attending an emergency appointment, senior Brittney Witherspoon felt discouraged to come back for an actual appointment because of the “run around” of getting her hour-long appointment.

Mental health issues among students are associated with lower GPA and a higher probability of dropping out, according to an article by Active Minds.

The lack of accessibility of the medical center on campus is another clear example of how little support Chico State gives non-academic services on campus.

Chico State needs to put more value in services that take care of students overall well being. Students will never benefit from the academic services offered here if they decide to drop out because of mental health issues.

UCLA conducted a study that showed emotional health issues are more common among first-year students. If we want to keep our 59.3 percent graduation rate or exceed that percentage, Chico State needs to start addressing students mental health.

Students should not have to call the counseling center every morning in hope of possibly seeing a counselor.

With so much riding on students mental health, not only does Chico State need to offer more services to address it, but the health center needs to change their policies and availability regarding students who need to speak with a counselor.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @NicteHernandez4 on Twitter.