Students Should Use Psychology Department Counseling Services – The Rocky Mountain Collegian
With the mental impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all of us, more students should take advantage of CSU’s Psychological Services Center.
February 15, 2022
Editor’s note: All content in the opinion section reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a position taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had resounding effects on all of us to varying degrees. Some people have experienced the profound loss of a loved one, others have lost their job or their home. It’s hard to quantify how hard this virus has taken us, but one thing is certain: it has affected our mental health as a nation.
That’s according to a Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking survey from 2020, at least. The poll reported an increase in sleep or eating disorders, alcohol use, and self-reported symptoms of depression and/or anxiety after the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country.
In these tumultuous times, it really is only natural to feel emotionally drained or depressed. We’ve been in a pandemic for nearly two years, and the shockwaves of the virus are still being felt across the country. To alleviate stress, depression or anxiety, counseling can help.
Most Colorado State University Students Are Familiar With The School’s Free Counseling sessions with a CSU Health Network counselor, but $15 an hour therapy from the psychology department sessions for full-time students can fly under the radar.
“PSC provides therapy services and psychological assessments for multiple demographic groups, including children, couples, families, and individual adults.”
The agency affiliated with the Department of Psychology, aptly called Psychological Services Centeris a community mental health agency and is located at 700 S. Mason St. Additionally, the PSC has an office in Room 119 of the Gifford Building.
PSC provides therapy services and psychological assessments for several demographic groups, including children, couples, families, and individual adults.
The center also offers assessment and group therapy services. CSU Health Network Counseling Services offers group therapy, but unfortunately does not offer psychological services. appraisal services due to the “considerable time required for full psychological assessments”.
Wait times at the PSC can fluctuate, as can the waitlist for CSU Health Network counseling services. According to Dr. Michael Brinker, Director of the PSC, the waiting list is estimated at three months at present. Meanwhile, the waiting list for CSU Health Network counseling services is currently one to five days, according to CSU Health Network Associate Director of Communications Kate Hagdorn.
The best time to get on the PSC waiting list is in the fall, which is when Brinker said there were more fresh-faced therapists available before loads of course does not heat up.
“At the start of the fall semester, we have a new group of therapists starting to take on cases, and we’re going through the waitlist pretty quickly at that time,” Brinker said. “Later in the semester, when the student workload is fuller, we are slower to pick up new cases.”
“No matter where you seek counseling services for yourself, however, it’s important to take care of your mental health during these turbulent times.”
Is this the best time to join the waitlist if you are graduating in May? Definitely not, but if you’re looking for counseling during the summer months, PSC may be your best route, as the CSU Health Network Counseling Services staff are more limited in the summer.
Hagdorn reported that only about 18% of CSU’s in-person resident student population is seen for counseling services per year — that’s 5,000 students. Meanwhile, Brinker said the majority of PSC patients are not students.
According to the Counseling Services Section of the CSU Health Network website, “most students see their counselor (CSU Health Network) every two to three weeks for one-on-one appointments.” Research shows this therapy works best when done once a week for three to four months. In keeping with that and not to overwhelm the CSU Health Network advisors, maybe it’s time to give another vendor a shot.
No matter where you seek counseling services for yourself, however, it’s important to take care of your mental health in these turbulent times. The last thing we want to do is let COVID-19 win.