Counseling Center is operating with low staff

Hayden Olberding, Editor-in-Chief

The university Counseling Center has four fewer staff this semester.

The Counseling Center had six staff members in Sept. 2020. There are currently only two employees running the Counseling Center for the entire university.

Robin Sanabria, staff psychologist, is now acting as the Counseling Center’s interim director. She moved into this position after the director left in January.

Sanabria said staff at the Counseling Center left over time because of other job opportunities or promotions. 

The Counseling Center is now busier than it normally would be. Sanabria said students usually don’t start services later in the semester but said she thinks students are willing to start services later because the counseling center is offering telehealth.

Telehealth counseling is a service the university introduced in Fall 2020 because of COVID-19. This gives students more flexibility and options by allowing students to have appointments virtually through Zoom.

Sanabria said telehealth counseling is appealing to students because they can get out of bed and have a virtual appointment from their bedroom, or they can meet online during their lunch break.

Before the Counseling Center could provide telehealth, students would have to find other sources for their mental health off-campus. 

This new service means students can use the Counseling Center virtually if they’re in a state where the university’s Counseling Center is licensed. Sanabria said this could mean a growing demand for the Counseling Center over the summer. 

Even with low staffing at the Counseling Center, Sanabria said they are seeing students and taking walk-ins as they regularly would.

She said the university will be posting vacancies for positions.

“In the meantime, we’re just holding down the fort the very best we can,” Sanabria said.

Daryan Bredemeyer, a senior accounting major, used the Counseling Center every semester. She said she never had a negative experience with the Counseling Center.

Bredemeyer said she spoke with Sanabria frequently. She said Sanabria and the Counseling Center helped get rid of her anxiety.

“Just from knowing Robin, she has her best foot forward, and she’s going to do whatever she has to,” Bredemeyer said. 

One issue with the Counseling Center Bredemeyer said she saw was the number of appointments a student could have. 

Bredemeyer said she met with a counselor that could only give her eight sessions that semester. She said limiting the number of times a student could meet with a counselor in an emergency could put a damper on the mental health of students.