The service hours for Counseling and Psychological Services have been extended for Mondays and Wednesdays as of Sept. 8 in an effort to increase availability and access to students. Students will now be able to make an appointment with CPS until 7 p.m. on both days.
Director of CPS Calvin Chin explained that the change was made due to concerns within CPS that students who need counseling service might not be able to schedule appointments during normal business hours because of conflicting schedules.
“We’re hoping that by increasing our availability and increasing our access that we can reach out to more students and that students will find it easier to meet with us if they need our services,” Chin said.
Chin explained that CPS has been paying attention to the ongoing, active discussion about mental health on campus, and has been constantly seeking ways to improve its services. The University is currently being sued by a student who claims that he was forced to leave campus after he attempted to commit suicide.
“We are also improving and increasing the number of outreach efforts we have into the University community, to try to continue to destigmatize mental health treatments and provide space for students for the counseling service,” Chin said.
One such effort to increase its availability, along with the service hour extension, is partnerships with different departments and on-campus organizations on campus, including the LGBT Center, the Graduate School, the Department of Athletics and the Engineering School.
As part of the partnership, these organizations will cosponsor programs about mental health and well-being with CPS.
Chin added that the conversations with the Undergraduate Student Government’s Mental Health Initiative were helpful in figuring out what the CPS can do to improve its service, although the decision to extend its service hours is not a direct response to the feedback from the board.
U-Councilor and chair of the Mental Health Initiative Board Zhan Okuda-Lim ’15 said that he is very excited about the CPS’s efforts to increase its availability and that he believes the extension of service hours would help promote mental health on campus.
“Last spring, one of the concerns that we have heard was that the CPS hours did not work well with athlete schedules, as well as the students who were busy during the day,” Okuda-Lim said. “With extended hours, it opens up more opportunities for students who might have earlier been facing difficulties [scheduling] for the CPS [appointments].”
Chin also added that he and Executive Director of University Health Services John Kolligian will have open office hours every Thursday.
“That’s an opportunity for any student to come in if they want to provide feedback about the counseling service,” Chin said.