In a high-stress campus crawling with Type-A personalities, psychological concerns are bound to be rampant among students. The question is: To whom do we turn? Well, as we read in Wil Hershner's July 20 column, we are supposed to go to Penn's Counseling and Psychological Services.
"Our mission is to help students function here at Penn, to adjust to college life," said Ilene Rosenstein, director of CAPS and a licensed psychologist.
Throughout our campus, seeking psychological assistance is no longer taboo - in fact, it has become extremely popular. Penn students are "a mental-health savvy group" and "anxiety is here to stay," Rosenstein said. "I want students to come to us."
Surprisingly, however, students are repeatedly being turned away from CAPS and referred elsewhere, to embark on a process that will cost them time, travel and money. Of the 2,500 students who visited CAPS last year, 36 percent were referred to an outside service, Rosenstein said.
On the counseling Web site, Penn promises students both free and ongoing psychological services, and a referral only occurs upon the "mutual decision" of the counselor and the student. As Rosenstein acknowledged, this information is extremely misleading.
She explained that all counselors make the decision to refer a patient based only upon a "clinical reason," and she feels that "CAPS could do a better job at explaining that clinical reason." A referral may occur if the patient requires specialization or long-term care aside from issues specifically related to college.
CAPS is certainly not to blame for this detail - it's the Penn administration that is disregarding the health of its students. Perhaps our university does not allocate adequate funds to the increasing demand for counseling, yet mental health is not the appropriate arena for penny-pinching.
Most of us leave finances to our parents, and we presumably overlook the details of our bills from Penn. Included in that annualComments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.