The Advocate

Counselors should be onsite

Max Tate

Max Tate

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For some Pitt-Johnstown students, counseling availability might be just as important as their academic studies.

We believe that student counseling is perhaps  one of the most important services offered at Pitt-Johnstown.

The counseling director said that serving all students who want counseling is one of her team’s biggest challenges.

Perhaps the real challenge is developing a bigger counseling staff, so that students who need help can get it sooner rather than later.

That may be one of the tougher parts of the new director’s job: lobbying for more resources to adequately provide services.

Peruso  may like working a busier schedule as Health and Counseling director; however, the counselors still need to be accessible to students.

Having three counselors on-call -who are not in the Office of Health and Counseling Services on weekends, or outside of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays- is not enough.

Although counselors may appreciate these working hours, Pitt-Johnstown should have more onsite accessibility.

What good is it for counselors to utilize a special phone during a crisis intervention, if that phone’s number is not available to students?

In our opinion, most students who need to talk with someone during a personal crisis might not want to get their resident assistant or police involved to get a counselor.

Students should not have to report themselves to authorities to get immediate help.

If counselors were more available on campus, they would not have to.

We do not know how many students need help in a time of crisis, or what a counselor does to help a student in that situation.

We also do not know how much money it would cost the university to hire additional counselors, or how many more counselors Pitt-Johnstown should have so that a counselor is available onsite pretty much any time.

We think that there should be a counselor available on campus for each hour of every day.

If anything, Pitt-Johnstown should have a counselor available at night.

It is during this time when students are lying in their bed with their minds racing over every stressful adversity that they face the next morning or the previous day.

College students also could benefit from more accessible counseling services because they are of the age when beginning signs of mental issues typically start to show.

We urge a close look at counseling services and staffing, and, if necessary, a reallocation of resources to assure adequate counseling coverage.

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