CWU_Mental_Health_Services_

Access, Expectations, Assumptions, Realities For the first time in recalled history, the Counseling Clinic struggled during Fall Quarter 2017 to provide students with timely initial access to our ser- vices. In an unprecedented event, the clinic ran out of scheduled screenings for the quarter and had to establish a waitlist for these appointments. As a staff, we are committed to access for all students to see us. We were aghast at the situation and quickly added screening appointments. In Fall, the aver- age wait time from call to screening was 11 days; in Winter it was 6 days; in Spring it was 4 days. Another important component of access is the availability of crisis appoint- ments. In FY18, the Clinic saw a 7% increase in requests for crisis appoint- ments over FY17. Not all crisis appointments are walk-in or call-in. Some- times crisis appointments are additional scheduled (often for several days out) appointments for on-going clients who are experiencing a crisis and need increased care for a time. This affects our statistics somewhat. Still, 60.6% of all crisis appointments were scheduled for the same day and 82.4% were scheduled within 1 day. Yet another part of access is to have intervention services (beyond screening and crisis appointments) available throughout the quarter, especially at the end of the quarter. The Clinic staff examined our most common presenting concerns—anxiety, depression, and coping—and designed 3-4 session psy- choeducational groups to give students both support and practical skills to address their distress. These groups ran the last few weeks of the quarter, providing students entering the system after midterms expedient access to intervention services. With 2/3 of students presenting at the Counseling Clinic reporting previous therapy experiences, the model of therapy most students expect is weekly individual sessions. Despite the fact that research suggests that for many issues group therapy is just as effective or more effective than individual ther- apy, students tend to hold up individual therapy as the gold standard. They expect individual therapy. The Clinic is unable to provide every student with on-going, unlimited individual therapy—nor is that the best modality of treat- ment for every student and their presenting concerns. Engaging each student in a conversation about what they truly need and what will benefit them is an important element of ethical practice. Because students sometimes have to wait for individual therapy, there can be an assumption that students “can’t get in” to the clinic for services. This is not true. The Clinic continues to work to increase initial accessibility for all students to make an initial appointment in a timely manner , have their con- cerns heard and taken seriously, and to be engaged as critical consumers re- garding best practices and the best treatment optional available to them. In reality , when students had to wait for individual therapy, they generally waited between 1-2 weeks. The wait time was, on average, 2 weeks during Fall Quarter and decreased by 50% over the year to 1 week in Spring Quarter. Of those who had to wait, approximately half (49%) were offered an on-going individual therapy spot during the same quarter in which they went on the waitlist. In addition, 32.2% were concurrently enrolled in other services while waiting for individual therapy. The majority of those waiting had received 5 clinical contacts (screening, Pathways, post-Pathways) before having to wait for on-going individual therapy.

Referral Sources*

73.7% Self-Referred

22.1% Friends 12.7% Parents

 12.3% Faculty/Staff 6.1% Medical Clinic 2.9% Residence Life Staff 1.7% Community Men- tal Health Center 8.2% Other *Student reported, not verified by the clinic    

Academic Standing/Age

30.9% First Year

19.9% Sophomore

21.4% Junior

22.4% Senior

.9% Post-Bac

3.2% Graduate Student

22.3% Transfer

.6% <18

20.3% 18 years old

22.8% 19 years old

14.3% 20 years old

11.5% 21 years old

29.2% >21

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