Improving access to student mental health resources

A photo of Christine Even with John Middleton and President Choi in the Counseling Center.
(Left to right) Christine Even with John Middleton and President Choi.

On the fourth floor of Strickland Hall, located next to the Student Center, is the recently relocated and newly expanded Counseling Center.

In the morning before opening to students, Christine Even, a psychologist and director of the Counseling Center, along with Jamie Shutter, executive director of student health & well-being, gave me and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs John Middleton a tour of their new, welcoming space. It is an impressive operation.

Dr. Even showed us some of the many improvements, which include a larger intake area to provide better privacy as well as a dedicated space for rapidly responding to students in need. The central location also makes access and referrals easier than ever before. No detail was overlooked – even the calming blue paint color was chosen after consultation with the community.

These resources are already making a difference. For example, the average time to schedule a first appointment has decreased from more than three weeks to within 48 hours. There is also a 24/7 crisis service where anyone who needs support or has concerns for a student can call 573-882-6601 and speak to a licensed clinician.

With 23 full-time clinicians, one part-time clinician, four full-time pre-doctoral interns and five clinical graduate assistants ready to help, the Counseling Center is another great example of our holistic commitment to student well-being.

— Mun