University to add emergency hotline, case manager to student counseling services

Chapman’s Student Psychological Counseling Services, which had 90 students on its waitlist earlier this semester, will add an emergency hotline and a case manager to help students find outside resources, said Dean of Students Jerry Price. Panther Archives

Chapman is making changes to its mental health services for students starting next semester – including adding an emergency hotline and a case manager – said Dean of Students Jerry Price.

More than 45 students are currently on the waitlist. Ninety were waitlisted in late October.

“All of our waitlisted students have received an email requesting updated availability,” Jeanne Walker, the director of Chapman’s Student Psychological Counseling Services (SPCS), wrote in an email to The Panther. “Moving to a new triage model should help in the coming semester.”

Price said that the school has been working with student government to establish a “new model.”

“We will be able to assist students through campus services who need emergency and short-term counseling, and will be bringing on a case manager to help students find resources within the Orange community,” Price said.

This spring, an emergency hotline will be available to students, which will allow professionals to provide immediate help to those in mental health crises. The hotline will operate after hours and weekends, Price said.

By the next academic year, SPCS will hire a case manager who will act as a liaison between students and outside community resources, Price said.

This allows the SPCS to be dedicated to emergency and short-term counseling, he said.

The case manager will help students find community-based counselors who accept various health insurance plans, and assist them in the appointment-making process, Price said.

Emily Bernstein, a junior creative writing major, said that it has taken months for her to secure an appointment at SPCS, highlighting the need for a case manager.

“There are only so many appointments offered to students per semester (at SPCS),” Bernstein said. “I was offered a list of counselors in the area, and there are really great therapists close to campus that are relatively inexpensive, and some even give student discounts.”

The SPCS also aims to expand the amount of workshops and outreach programs available to students throughout the school year, Price said.

Students want more counselors, and in an ideal world, the school would provide mental health professionals to any student who needs help, Price said. But the logistics “aren’t that simple,” he said.

“The goal of this model of mental health services is to not only provide services on campus to students who need it most, but to minimize the hurdles for students who seek long term services within the community,” Price said.

Student Government President Mitchell Rosenberg wrote in an email to The Panther that student government is still “working out the details” with administration.

Rosenberg declined to comment further until after interterm.

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