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Letter to the Editor: Counseling Center concerns

April 18, 2018

I am writing to express my concern that the mental health resources on the main campus of the University of Toledo are either poorly promoted or seriously missing the mark when it comes to the mental health of students. Too many times have I heard, “I don’t know where the Counseling Center is,” or “I’ve had a horrible experience with the mental health services on campus too!”

 

Just because it’s not you today, it may be you one day! Our mental health and academic success are UT’s business. It affects the institution one way or another, either through school retention rates or longevity and success of the university.

 

As a full-time Ph.D. student with a graduate assistantship, multiple research projects, bills out of the wazoo, a committed relationship and family living over 1,000 miles away, stress has become my new normal, similar to many of the students here walking these very halls.

 

I don’t need my hand to be held, but as a student I would like to be reassured that the university has my back if I need help—NOT help in six weeks or three months but help NOW. Why deal with a crisis when we can prevent the crisis from happening in the first place? It’s easier to row a boat downstream than it is upstream.

 

For new students who do not come in as freshmen, the Counseling Center is almost non-existent. I didn’t learn of the center until one month ago, and I still don’t know how to get there. As a growing institution, this needs to change, and we students are here to help make it possible.

 

We cannot afford to wait any longer! According to the National College Health Assessment, 1.5 percent of students attempted suicide in 2017; this is 1.5 percent too many.

 

—Vickie Dugat, MPH; Ph.D. student in health education

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