Monday, September 22, 2014

Help Wanted

From KQED:

Students throughout the University of California system are having trouble accessing mental health care, and health services directors are raising alarms that increased staffing and funding could be warranted to meet demand.  “The increased need for mental health services on our campuses is outstripping our ability to provide those services,” said Dr. John Stobo, senior vice president for health sciences and services for the University of California. “It is a major problem. It’s not only a problem for UC, this is a national issue.” In the last six years, the number of students seeking help at university counseling centers has increased 37 percent, according to data presented at UC Regents board meeting on Thursday...

Elizabeth Gong-Guy, executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services at UCLA... says more students are seeking help now because of awareness campaigns that helped reduced stigma around mental health issues. Those campaigns were funded through a $6.8 million grant the university received under Proposition 63, a voter-approved ballot measure that raised taxes on the wealthiest Californians to provide funds for the state’s public mental health system.  But that funding to the university ends this year, and health services directors worry they do not have enough money to hire the staff needed to keep up with unabated demand. Gong-Guy said the UCLA counseling center treated 8,500 students last year – that amounts to 21 percent of the student population and a 23 percent increase over the year before...

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