U. of Houston addresses growing mental health services demand
- Mirroring a trend at universities nationwide, Dr. Norma Ngo and her staff at the U. of Houston's Counseling and Psychological Services have their hands full, with the number of students seeking mental health services in September 2012 up 47% over the same month in 2011.
- Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. has thrust the issue of mental health services into the national spotlight, and a 2011 survey by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors showed that 70% of members felt the number of students on their campuses with severe psychological problems had increased in the previous year, with 92% feeling it was a growing concern.
- Ngo says that her staff have confronted the dual challenge of a tight budget and an increase in students seeking services with initiatives like a "Let's Talk" program (which has counselors hold regular hours in residence halls and athletic centers), efforts by faculty and staff to identify students who may be in need of help, and regular sessions on a number of mental health topics.
From the article:
Little makes Dr. Norma Ngo, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Houston, sadder than hearing a student say, ‘‘I never even knew you guys existed.” “Even if I get that senior in their last semester," she said, “I’m thrilled because at least they got some counseling before they left.” But Ngo and her staff have their hands full. In recent years, the university has experienced an increase in the number of students needing mental health services. In September 2012, the number of students going to the counseling center was about 47 percent higher than the same month in the previous year. ...
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