In the Oct. 3 edition of The College Voice, Jillian Noyes wrote an article: “Mental Health at Conn: Are We as in Touch as we Claim?” It is important that students on campus understand the mental health services and supports that are available on campus.
As the Director of the Student Counseling Services (SCS), I want to clarify several issues raised in the article. First, SCS is available for counseling to students only, not to faculty nor staff. There are consultative services and select trainings available to staff and faculty, with the focus on how to help students.
Second, students are not referred to other centers for the purpose of receiving mental health care. A student might be referred to another center on campus to connect with additional support services, e.g., identity-based resources, medical care, academic resources, accessibility services, psychological testing, etc. With such referrals, the student typically continues counseling at SCS, which is the only service on campus that provides mental health counseling to students.
Third, the number of sessions for any one student does not typically reflect on the quality of service, but rather the type of issue being addressed and the individual needs of the student. Currently, there is no waiting list for mental health care at SCS. SCS offers equal access to services for all students and works collaboratively and diligently to reduce any stigma attached to counseling, mental illness or to seeking mental health treatment.
Finally, on occasion a student may be dissatisfied with the SCS services. It is by no means a common occurrence. We are committed to our work and a student can always speak to their counselor or the Director for support or to seek a remedy to whatever the issue may be. The student can always request to see another counselor. SCS asks students who have received services for feedback in our twice yearly Satisfaction Surveys. Thus far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we take all suggestions seriously and if possible incorporate them.
Students who are interested in seeking mental health care can contact SCS at 860-439-4587, walk into the Warnshuis Health Center, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janet Dee Spoltore, Ph.D., ABPP
Director, Student Counseling Services