RCL Post 1

My group’s deliberation title is “State of Mind.”  For our deliberation, we are focusing on the issue of failing to address mental health issues on campus.  Increasing mental health awareness and improving treatment for individuals with mental health disorders is important for college campuses.  These issues are triggered and worsened by the stress and anxiety that college adds to our lives.  Since mental health issues affect so many college students, our group created suggestions to improve treatment for individuals for our deliberation.  Our ideas include improving CAPS, creating an accepting and understanding environment, and promoting general education about mental health disorders.

My role is to research approach one, which is the ways to improve CAPS.  Pritika and I contacted a counselor from CAPS, and we want to interview him or her in the future to gather more information about the services that CAPS provides Penn State students.  We will be asking the person we interview about the mission of CAPS, the free visits offered to students, the number of students that utilize CAPS’ services every year, the services used by most students, whether CAPS will transfer students to outside sources, and the reasons behind students from failing to seek help from CAPS.

Pritika and I are currently examining CAPS’ website to learn more about its benefits.  We learned that CAPS provides individual, group, and couples counseling to its patients.  We also learned that CAPS provides help with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.  CAPS has physicians, dietitians, and mental health providers that work together to help patients with eating disorders or body image issues.  Our goal is to implement changes that will enable students to know more about CAPS.  For example, during New Student Orientation or freshman seminar, all students should actually visit CAPS to hear a counselor speak about the help that this resource provides.  Many students do not know the location of CAPS or about the free visits that CAPS initially offers.  We believe that if students actually went to CAPS and spoke to a counselor, then they would be more likely to utilize its resources.

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