A new 24/7 support line from Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) went live on Monday, Nov. 21. Students can call 609-258-3141 to speak with a counselor any day of the year, including evenings, weekends, and holidays and regardless of whether they are currently on campus, according to the CPS website.
The launch of the program follows advocacy from the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and other members of the campus community, including a mental health referendum in the spring 2022 election cycle and the publication of a mental health report on Sept. 19, which recommended the implementation of a 24/7 counseling line by fall 2023.
The support line “is one of many recommendations that came out of the Mental Health Workgroup that met this summer to improve mental health and wellbeing on campus,” according to an email from CPS Director Calvin R. Chin to The Daily Princetonian.
The hotline also comes in the wake of recent tragedy, as community members mourned the death of Misrach Ewunetie ’24 in late October. Dean of the College Jill Dolan and other administrators referenced the launch of CPS Cares in a Nov. 1 email to students, staff, and faculty, noting that the University is working on expanding CPS access “as is typical” during times of “increased demand.”
A Nov. 18 statement from the University Office of Communications notes that, in addition to the support line, CPS is working to hire “the equivalent of two new, full-time counselors to increase access to mental health care on campus.”
The announcement also stated that CPS plans to “offer extended initial consultations so students can have more of their needs met during their first appointment” by the end of this semester.
U-Councilor and USG Mental Health Task Force Co-Chair Stephen Daniels ’24, who sponsored the spring 2022 referendum and helped write the working group’s report, told the ‘Prince’ that the accelerated timeline for the CPS Cares line is a mark of success of “student activism around implementation of the report.”
The CPS website states that students can use the line to speak with counselors “about an urgent concern or if you just need to talk to someone about a difficult challenge or mental health issue.”
Dr. Chin noted that CPS is “hopeful that the CPS Cares Line will increase access for students to mental health supports as we continue to work to improve and enhance our services.”
Daniels also wrote to the ‘Prince’ about the potential of the CPS Cares line to improve students’ access to mental healthcare.
“A major frustration we hear from students about CPS is wait times, and, while this doesn’t completely address that, I think providing on-demand services will make it so that more students who need help receive it in a timely manner,” he wrote. “At the same time, increasing resources should just be a part of the conversation about improving student mental health.”
Annie Rupertus is a sophomore from Philadelphia, an Assistant Data Editor, and a staff news writer who covers USG for the ‘Prince.’
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