Baruch needs to do more to support the Counseling Center


Mohamed Hassan | Pixabay

The Editorial Board

Baruch College’s counselors are not currently receiving the financial, and subsequently staffing, support required to meet the needs of the student body.

Although Baruch President S. David Wu told The Ticker that future budgets will prioritize student services like the counseling center, the administration must commit to a large allocation of funds specifically to the counseling center.

At Baruch, counselors work with students in one-on-one or group appointments to address specific mental health-related concerns.

Currently, there are only two full-time counselors on staff. There are four part-time counselors who work a combined total of just 20 hours a week and three part-time psychiatric specialists who provide medication care.

This is not enough to support the almost 16,000 undergraduate students at Baruch.

It is essential that Dr. Teresa Hurst, the director of the Counseling Center, advocates for increased funding and prioritizes adding staff.

Students should not have to wait over a week for support services. While waiting for an appointment, a student’s situation will likely worsen and may reach a crisis.

Increasing the counseling center’s budget would enable it to hire more staff so that counselors can better support their students and ensure no one must go unsupported while waiting for a counseling appointment to become available.

There is a serious mental health crisis at Baruch that demands action from the administration.

According to a survey conducted by the Counseling Center, 45% of the 1,300 respondents scored positive for moderate to major depression, 37% for anxiety and 19% reported self-injurious behavior.

Its challenges are persisting even as the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down the U.S. and worsened mental health struggles, fades into the periphery.

Mental health is an important ongoing conversation the administration must be having with the student body. The right resources can make all the difference.