Opinion: Counseling Center reports higher numbers of walk ins each year

Cory Spiers

The Appalachian State University Counseling Center has discovered in recent years that the growing number of walk-ins far exceeds the time slots available for counseling during the first few weeks of class.

The number of students making appointments at the Counseling Center has increased 66 percent since 2009, and between 20-25 people walked in the front doors during the first week of class this year, Director of the Counseling and Psychological Services Center Dan Jones told Inside Higher Ed.

It seems as if students are having a more difficult time adjusting to the stresses of college life.

Anxiety is a major cause of students seeking help, with 41.6 percent of students attending counseling appointments for anxiety related issues, according to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors’ annual survey.

Upon hearing these statistics, perhaps the simplest conclusion to jump to is that the transition between high school and college is not easy for every student.

The AUCCCD’s annual survey also indicates that 19 percent of universities with psychiatric services on campus report that these services are not up to par. To make matters worse, the staffing situation is an issue as well – public colleges tend to have far fewer employees in their counseling centers than their private counterparts.

Considering the high incidents of anxiety in college students, universities should take steps to accommodate the increasing need for a larger staff.

If struggling students receive the help they need immediately, they are far less likely to suffer more serious problems later in the year.

Jones told Inside Higher Ed that in order to get an appointment during the first three to six weeks at Appalachian, you must get to the Counseling Center early because slots fill up quickly.

This tight schedule may be a problem with so many students seeking help.

Hopefully, this increase in demand will prompt the expansion of services, as well as other advancements in campus psychological care during the coming years.

Story: ERICA BADENCHINI, Opinion writer