"Imagine having an issue, addiction or crisis that has been part of you for a long time. In fact, it has been apart of you for so long that you cannot think of a way to shake it. You live with this feeling but one day you wake up, and you realize, "wait, this is not me." I do not want to be this way. I am better than this. I do not need to put myself through this anymore.
"Congratulations. You are ready to move on and actually live your life. You finally get the courage to ask for help. You call Oswego State’s counseling center because you think that, if anyone can get you through this then it should be them. They see students with all sorts of issue all the time; certainly they will help you.
"You take it upon yourself to ask for help, but are they there for you? The answer is: not always.
"The counseling center located in Mary Walker has about five full time counselors for 533 students. That is last year’s number, not including the nearly 100-200 faculty members that have gone to counseling. The center is short one counselor and is trying to fill that position.
"As students, we pay $153 each semester for the Walker Health Fee. You can look. It’s on your bill. On average, students pay $9,292 to attend Oswego State but Oswego State cannot even give us something we rightfully deserve. Instead, the Health Center refers students to counseling services off-campus. They are more than willing to call and set up an appointment for you, but are they also more than willing to pay the $25 a session? I do not think so.
"The number of students seeking counseling services has been growing over the past few years. It could be due to the fast-paced society that characterizes our generation. This leaves students feeling more stressed. We have lived through the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and 9/11, which leaves us feeling less of a sense of safety. It would only seem plausible that due to the rising number of students who request counseling that schools hire more counselors. What is the point in offering these services to students if they are not going to really be there for students?
"It only seems right that if a student who is paying for the service anyway calls for help that these services be able to help. It is understandable that they cannot meet with every student at the drop of a hat, but making students wait an entire week before they can even meet for a 15 minute consultation seems a little ridiculous. A week is a lot of time for a student to do something drastic. More students are making impulsive decisions than ever before and more often attempt to harm themselves, according to the article "Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students" on LiveScience.com. To make it worse they tell students that they will be put on a waiting list or refer them to services off-campus. How long is this wait though? Do they even take into consideration that it takes a lot of courage to say, hey, I need help? It is not always easy for someone to admit that they need assistance from others, or to even admit that they have a problem. It only seems right to me that if a student asks for help then they should receive that help, not waiting lists and not a referral to off-campus counseling services.