Staff Editorial: Student counseling needs vast improvement

If you are one of the many students who have sought or thought about seeking counseling services from Lauderdale Health Center, chances are that you didn't receive the treatment that you were expecting.

It must be acknowledged that the college as a whole recognizes mental health as the serious issue that it is and does not dismiss it as unimportant. There are several avenues made accessible for us to reach out to should we need them; Residence Life, professors and individuals like Dean of Students Leonard Sancilio especially come to mind. It also must be conceded that not everyone's experience with the Counseling Center itself has been negative.

But ask around. There is a general consensus of displeasure and bad experiences. Unfortunately, this is highly speculative because we are not given an evaluative system like a forum or paper evaluation through which we can voice these concerns, though there are several complaints. Specifically, there is significant difficulty with arranging appointments - only made worse by disagreeable individuals who answer the telephone - as well as the futility of the sessions themselves, should you be crafty enough to secure one.

Perhaps, on the surface, Lauderdale simply does not have the resources to amend these faults, and maybe that is somewhat forgivable, but the central issue here is that of accessibility. Students who are depressed or suicidal need to be treated with careful respect that affirms their worth as individuals. Overt, clear and welcoming access to a counselor is absolutely necessary.

The need for an accessible system is not something to be taken lightly in Geneseo. Being a student is a high-stress undertaking in general and most of us can agree that the standards we are asked to live up to in Geneseo seem even more back-breaking than most.

Not only do we have a lot on our plates, but we also have all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak. We live, breathe, sleep and eat college and never really catch a break; we can't leave our work at work. Instead, we are surrounded by it every hour of every day. It's no wonder that recent reports have indicated that up to four of every 10 people ages 18 to 24 describe themselves as down, depressed or hopeless.

In such a climate, even the slightest improvements in scheduling and handling potential patients must be pursued. The cost of not doing so is too high. For those struggling with depression on any level, simply demonstrating that these efforts on their behalf are worth it might be all it takes to help them turn things around.u

The editorial represents the aggregate view of the Lamron editorial board and does not represent the views of the student body.