Wellness Center Executive Director
Good afternoon. While we at The Wellness Center wanted to be sure to say a big thank you for bringing greater awareness to the emotional health challenges and needs of students at Keene State College, we are writing because there are several inaccuracies noted in one of your opinion pieces that unfortunately has the potential to discourage students from seeking supports on campus, which I’m sure you’d agree is the exact opposite of what your aiming to achieve by highlighting issues of emotional health in your recent edition of The Equinox. In an effort to avoid further discouraging students in need of these important supports, we respectfully request that a clear correction to the errors noted below in your opinion piece be published as quickly as possible.
Your opinion piece titled “Students Need More Mental Health Support” notes the counseling support provided by The Wellness Center; however, it also provides the inaccurate statement that “it’s understood that they are tightly booked and sometimes have very long waiting lists to get an appointment with a counselor” and suggests a remedy to look for “other outside sources” for a nonexistent problem of long waitlists/inaccessibility. While it is true that the counseling supports of The Wellness Center are a highly utilized service on campus, it is incorrect to say that there are “very long waiting lists” (or any waitlist) to see a counselor or there is a need to find alternative resources due to an inability of students to see a counselor in a timely manner.
Instead, appointments with counselors at The Wellness Center have been readily available for many years as noted in these data and information below:
The Wellness Center has not operated from a waitlist model for the past four years; meaning no student has been waitlisted to see a counselor for the past four academic years.
For over ten years, The Wellness Center at KSC actually has been an exemplar in the field for always being able to provide first appointments with a counselor in an impressively short time frame from when a student contacts us.
For the past ten years, 97% of all students seeking counseling have received an appointment within 7 days of their date of contact with us. Most of those who were scheduled more than 7 days out, have been students whose schedules or preferences prevented them from being seen sooner.
Furthermore, approximately 65% of students have been scheduled with a counselor within two days of their contact with us.
Students with urgent or more immediate needs can, and have always been, seen the same day they contact us.
These extremely quick periods for scheduling an appointment are impressively unique to say the least. For example, in the field of mental health service delivery it is more the norm to have several weeks to a month between contact date and appointment date with a mental health counselor; currently, of-campus therapists in our community are scheduling 1-2 months out. The ability to have this success for our students and to see students so quickly is a testament to the support we receive from KSC’s upper administration, the value KSC places on student wellness, and the counseling staf’s tireless commitment to students, dedication to student wellness, and willingness to go above-and beyond to support students.
The opinion piece also notes the potential benefits of students’ needs being met through group counseling methods that may be available of-campus; but in fact, The Wellness Center already provides a robust and diverse set of group counseling services to students.
Feel free to reach out if we can provide any additional information and data about the services available to students at The Wellness Center. We would be more than eager to assist.
The Wellness Center can be contacted at KSCemail@example.com