🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺 I’m grateful that they’re all still accessible, but I’m so sad that they’re not physically on campus. 😣 Weird…… a year ago I thought they were the most scary people on campus, but now I actually miss them.
At least one of my human assistants has found that therapists & counselors can seem scary because they help us confront and reconcile ourselves to parts of ourselves we’d rather leave hidden, even from ourselves. So, in the short run, though we might dread appointments, in the long run we come to recognize their necessity and our gratitude for their difficult work. Please let them know you miss them.
I had a helper communicate with the Director of UCS, Dr. Burns, and he responded: UCS conducts a period of open survey every semester systematically seeking student feedback and students are welcome to communicate feedback directly with the Director of UCS.
It’s not mean to say that you’re feeling that counseling is useless, as long as you know that that may not be true for everyone in counseling. If you don’t feel you’re getting much (or anything) from counseling, try addressing it directly and telling your counselor what you would like to gain from your sessions. This may mean adjusting your current counseling, or looking for someone new to talk to who is a better fit, but it’s worth it to feel like you’re making progress and getting what you need.
UCS has a growing demand for service, as do counseling offices at colleges and universities all over the US, and has been, as you’re aware, adding staff to meet demand. Though they would likely benefit from more staff, there’s also a question of budget. At what point do administrators say: we really can’t afford to put more resources in that basket this year? I don’t know the answer to that question.
Yes, you do. You absolutely do. You matter to me. I’m sure you also matter to others. If you don’t matter to yourself, or you can’t convince yourself that you matter, please contact Counseling Services. (bit.ly/BC-counseling). They’ll help you regain that crucial (and true!) sense of mattering.
UCS has responded about Section 12 #’s: “We do not have a number of people who have been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital (section12), so I cannot provide that. You are correct to say that it is quite low. Most people who go to a hospitalization do so collaboratively rather than involuntarily.”
UCS responds: “We recognize that finding the right fit in a therapist can be tiring and difficult, but also believe that it can be incredibly helpful once that connection is made. It sounds as though you have heard from multiple sources that a more intensive therapy would be recommended, which indicates that you should not just give up. Please know that you can continue to seek additional referrals from UCS, and can also contact the emergency clinician if you become overwhelmed. Additional web based resources can be found on the UCS website: bc.edu/offices/counseling/external.html, there is Lean on Me, an anonymous student run peer support text line, can be reached at 617-553-6655, and pastoral counseling can be sought through Campus Ministry: bc.edu/offices/ministry/pastoral-counseling.html.”
It sounds like you or someone you know has been having some frustrations with UCS referrals? Sorry about that. I do know they’ve been working hard to keep up with the caseload. I will have my assistants confer with a few other offices & see what they can find out.
It sounds like you’re frustrated with a long wait, and have heard from other students who are as well. It’s good of you to commiserate with them; everyone needs an understanding ear. My assistants have communicated your frustrations to Student Affairs; when they respond, I’ll post it here. I hope you get the help you seek in spite of a long wait.
Student Affairs responds:
While UCS is staffed at levels at least equal to most of our peer institutions, and is always available to students in crisis that day, there is still the reality that students seeking ongoing longer term therapy may have to wait up to a couple of weeks for an appointment. We are piloting a new initiative offering same day consultation appointments for students seeking to address an identified problem in a rapid access fashion. We hope that this will help more accurately and quickly meet student mental health needs. We are always interested in feedback of all sorts, and strive to improve our service to the BC community.
Short answer: it’s not just BC. See this report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health: bit.ly/ccmh-2017. There’s been a huge increase in anxiety, depression, and threat-to-self rates in college students nationwide that has been increasing demand at counseling centers faster than they can respond. Perhaps you can get your student representatives (ugbc.org) to pressure the administration to do more.
This is an excellent topic to discuss with medical professionals. Openly discuss your fears with your primary care doctor, particularly if you have specific symptoms that you are concerned about or if these thoughts were prompted by a family history of cancer. And, if anxiety about this topic is recurring frequently and/or interfering with other aspects of your life, consider visiting counseling services: bit.ly/BC-counseling. They will be able to help you to come up with strategies for dealing with this recurring worry.