University Counseling Center struggle to keep up with high demand of students in need

Katherine ONeill

Anxiety, family tragedy, homesickness and the need to vent are some of the life stressors students may need professional support to be able to pull through a semester.

High demand and under-staffing have forced the University Counseling Center to limit the number of per-student visits to eight, said Mark Stevens, counseling center director and psychologist, who added that limitation makes it possible for counselors to reach more students.

“But depending on the case, some may be in need for more help, so we may provide them with few more (sessions) so they won’t feel left on their own,” Stevens said.

Overwhelmed students who have not reached their session limit may run into another problem: making an appointment.

For students who cannot make an appointment at the center, alternatives exist, such as yoga classes, working out at the fitness center, support groups and workshops, which have no visit limitations.

Solving an issue is not a quick, easy solution, Stevens said.

“It’s a process,” he added.

After visiting the counseling center, biology major Adam Sabbagh said he could have solved some of the struggles on his own.

“If there was no limit set, people will go in and out for issues that might be solved individually without wasting the time of the counselor because of congestion,” Sabbagh said.

If CSUN counselors think the student should continue receiving support, they may refer student to off-campus affordable clinics, Stevens said. Some charging as low as $15 per session.

Students may request a list of local clinics from CSUN’s counseling center.