Nearly 90 students are on the waitlist for the Student Psychological Counseling Services, said Student Government President Mitchell Rosenberg during the Oct. 27 senate meeting.
Director of Psychological Counseling Services Jeanne Walker confirmed the length of the waitlist, and said most of the increase is due to recent events like the Las Vegas shooting and the fires in Anaheim Hills and Sonoma County. The waitlist size is typically 20 to 30 students.
“An anomaly of events have occurred recently, causing many students to seek psychological help from the university,” Walker said. “It’s difficult to not be able to see all of the students in a timely way.”
Student Psychological Counseling Services has seven staff members that are qualified to speak with students about mental health issues.
“We’re now going to push this on an expedited timeline,” Rosenberg said. “That may put the administration in a tough place, because they’re going to have to figure it out, but we are going to push until we see results that are helping the students.”
Walker is optimistic that the university can provide more mental health resources to students soon, she said.
“I feel confident that the university will help us, but I don’t know what that’s really going to look like,” Walker said.
Rosenberg said at the Oct. 27 senate meeting that he plans to draft a resolution with other student government members to help with mental health services. The resolution will eventually be given to the administration.
Chapman administrators could not be immediately reached for comment.
“The point of a resolution is for us to show our support – also known as the student body’s support – for certain issues, so that the administration will really do something about it,” he said.
Active Minds, a club that provides resources to help students with psychological needs, assists students who can’t get help from the university by giving out their personal contact information to get coffee with students who are “in need,” said Active Minds executive board member Hayley Funk.
“If someone is going through a hard time and needs support, you can’t just not give them an outlet for help,” Funk said.
When a student seeks psychological help from the university, they take a survey ranking their severity of mental health issues, typically on a scale of one to five, with one being completely stable and five being in a state of mental emergency, Funk said.
It’s difficult to get in to the psychological center if it isn’t an emergency, Funk said.
Active Minds, has meetings with up to 60 students who speak about their mental health issues, how they can help other students on campus, and participate in stress-relieving activities and exercises.
Active Minds is not a peer counseling group, but it is a safe place to help students get the resources they need, Funk said. The group plans to pair with student government to expand the psychological center, both in physical office expansion and in the addition of new therapists, she said.