University Counseling Services reported increased demand for telemental health services over summer


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The Counseling department has scheduled approximately 20% more appointments this fall compared to fall 2019.

Jazmin Navarrete, Reporter

As classes transitioned to an online learning environment in the spring, students requested that the University Counseling Service provide individual counseling services, groups and workshops during the summer session.

The demand has continued into the fall semester. The department scheduled approximately 20% more appointments in the first four weeks of the fall semester than this time last year, according to Julie Pearce, director of the University Counseling Services.

Citing concerns of the pandemic and the quarantine restrictions in place, many students seeked services due to stress, anxiety, depression, isolation and uncertainty. The unsettling racial and social injustice is another reason students reached out for health services during the summer.

In order to provide more resources to students, the department’s team created additional resources for students that were posted on its website. These resources include videos and presentations, mindfulness exercises, blogs and a self-help library.

The unrest following the death of George Floyd inspired weekly facilitated virtual meetings called “Healing Spaces: Uplifting the Community After Tragic Loss.”

Several other therapists developed and facilitated additional “healing spaces” for the DREAM Center and for the Latinx, LGBTQ and international student communities.

“We have a very diverse team at UCS and we are steadfast in our mission to support students and enhance their mental health, well-being and academic success, as well as the collective values that we hold,” Pearce said.

Like most operations on campus, the mental health services moved online in the midst of the pandemic. UCS was prepared for the transition, bringing in additional counselors for the academic school year to serve students.

“We are proud to say that we never closed or reduced our hours of operation, we were able to quickly pivot and transition to the provision of telemental health services,” Pearce said.

The UCS staff consists of over 20 counselors and psychologists whose mission is to enhance the well-being of students and their academic success through a range of high-quality mental health services.

UCS offers short-term mental health services at no charge to currently enrolled students.
Counseling provides virtual telemental health services, including individual and couples therapy, wellness workshops, support groups, psychiatric services and case management.

“I want students to know that UCS is here for them and that we are committed to providing affirming, supportive and safe healing spaces for students,” Pearce said.

UCS is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For after hours and urgent care, call 818-677-2366 and select “option 3” to speak to a crisis counselor.

More information can be found on the UCS website.