The BYU-Idaho counseling center invoked a new student policy this semester due to the amount of students needing care exceeding the amount of counselors available.
Reed Stoddard, the director of the Counseling Center, said each individual’s need for counseling will be reviewed regularly. He said the approach was “short-term” and “semester-by-semester” counseling.
“If your issues may require more than two semesters of treatment, you may be referred to a community provider where you can receive longer term help,” Stoddard said.
Stoddard said in order to receive services, students need to be assigned a track and take a minimum of six credit hours of classes.
A USA Today study reported one in every 10 college students in the United States are receiving mental health counseling on campus.
The BYU-I statistics webpage states there are 17,018 students on campus, which equates to around 1,700 students needing mental health counseling.
Stoddard Rebekah Tiberend, a sophomore studying psychology, said she has struggled to get into the counseling center since she began school at BYU-I.
“Because there’s such a need for counseling here that it makes it difficult for students to get in,” Tiberend said. “I mean, what if I am having a crisis and need to see someone?”
Tiberend said the counseling center does refer students to LDS Family Services or to other local counseling clinics, but students on the student health plan must pay out-of-pocket.
She said the Counseling Center does offer one crisis session per semester for emergencies when students need to see a counselor.
“I think they could probably use more counselors,” Tiberend said. “It’s a hard job; it has a high burnout rate, so I can understand why it’s hard. But I think they could use more therapists.”
Tiberend said she listens to music to help her when she is unable to meet with a counselor.
“I think that people who don’t even have mental health problems can still benefit from those self-care techniques that help you regulate your emotions,” Tiberend said.
Tiberend said there are ways to get affordable counseling off campus.
“Try looking around, try to find resources and see if people will work with you,” Tiberend said. “Just keep looking, it can be really discouraging, just keep trying.”