New programs to help with rising stress
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:10
Santa Clara’s Counseling and Psychological Services is offering two new support groups for students on campus this fall quarter, which focus on stress management and on support for students with abusive parents. “We’re finding an increase of the number of people on campus with mental health problems and an increase in the severity of the problems,” said Dr. Rosemary Ellmer, training director and staff psychologist for CAPS.
The CAPS program provides every undergraduate student with 10 free sessions for counseling per academic year. In addition to individual counseling, a variety of group sessions are available as well, which can provide undergrads with the opportunity to discuss and participate with other members. Students can attend as many group sessions as desired.
These services are becoming increasingly more important for Santa Clara and universities across the nation as clinical psychologists have noticed a higher demand for counseling programs.
A number of reasons contribute to this change in numbers, as students’ personal lives and family situations have changed over the years. According to Ellmer, some students are coming to school with a lot of trauma in their background.
In additions, more students are coming to school that have been on medication whereas before, psychotropic medications weren’t as widespread.
Yet one of the biggest factors that cause students to seek support from CAPS is the “work hard, play hard” mentality. “Rest hard” is not part of this mindset, which disturbs students’ abilities to balance a healthy lifestyle.
Universities across the nation have seen this rise in lack of balanced lifestyle and thus have had an increased amount of students seeking support from campus programs.
These larger universities, however, are struggling to support this sudden need for counseling services, as it is just assumed that they will not receive more resources for their staff. Counseling programs thus need to find a way to distribute the services in an equitable way.
One way larger universities have combatted this issue is to cut down the amount of free sessions students are able to attend. In addition, some programs have referred students into local communities to find support groups.
Santa Clara CAPS is in the process of collecting this data in order to find a more efficient and effective way of allocating their resources. The Titanium System, the data collection system used by Santa Clara CAPS, is part of a consortium of universities across the nation. The same information can be inserted and accessed by any of the universities with this system. Over the next few years, Santa Clara will accumulate very strong data about numbers and acuity.
Contact Carolyn Entress at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4948.