Home » Opinion » All Jokes Aside: After Ohio State buys iPads for all freshmen, can the university fix its mental health services?

All Jokes Aside: After Ohio State buys iPads for all freshmen, can the university fix its mental health services?

“Let’s Talk” is an alternative to traditional counseling offered by CCS where students can talk one-on-one with a CCS member for a quick 15 to 20-minute consultation without an appointment. Photo Illustration By: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Ricky Mulvey and Seth Shanley are members of the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club and joke-loving columnists for The Lantern. Mulvey is a fourth-year in finance and Shanley is a second-year in journalism.

Ohio State is spending big money on critically important projects: iPads for incoming freshmen, the Mirror Lake renovation, and bulldozing The O Patio & Pub for a courtyard.  

We believe the university needs to add to that list by fixing the problems within our student health care service. Particularly, the Counseling and Consultation Services.

CCS provides help for students dealing with anxiety, depression, or any mental health hurdle that a student experiences. The program offers current students 10 free counseling sessions each academic year.

Many students who went through CCS say the counseling service did not adequately address their mental health issues. One student, in a letter to the editor, described how a trip to the CCS office was the beginning of a journey through a confusing bureaucracy and felt pushed out of treatment before receiving the 10 promised sessions.

He did not get what he expected. Similar to buying a movie ticket to see “Justice League” or copping a pair of Moon Shoes.

University President Michael Drake said students need to treat CCS as a starting place, and not as a long-term solution. Drake claimed “CCS is not comprehensive mental health services.”

However, others, like the CCS website, claim “[CCS] provides comprehensive individual and group mental health services.”

One problem in CCS is its communication channels, another is increased demand from students. Administration said CCS is trying its best, but it’s also overwhelmed with students coming to it for help. Appointments more than doubled across a 10-year period.

Drake said increased demand is just a sign of the times.  

“A significant fraction of our students arrive on campus having been in therapy of one kind or another or being on medication; something that would not have been the case a generation, or so, ago,” he said.

We get it, Dr. President. It’s hard to keep up with the kids these days. One day they are talking about Pokémon, and the next day they are demanding adequate care for mental health issues that recently have become more socially acceptable to discuss.  

To address increasing demand, CCS received funding to add 15 additional staff members in the past two years — 13 clinicians and two support positions— and brought CCS locations to Lincoln Tower and the North Residential District.

While Ohio State is adding clinicians to CCS, many of its top doctors in other departments are leaving Central Ohio all together, for jobs in West Virginia.

Do you know how awful your job in Central Ohio must be if you voluntarily leave it and go to West Virginia? Here is how comparatively terrible the Mountain State is: there are only 4 roller coasters in West Virginia while Ohio has 37.

You don’t have to be a Ride Warrior to see there is an issue here. Ohio State must tackle the problem head on. Reform CCS to provide students with the mental health care they need and deserve.

Ohio State has taken the same approach to CCS that we take to our mental health issues: ignore the presence of a problem and hope that it just goes away.

But remember, anxious students, incoming freshmen are getting iPads! They can use them for research and maybe discover a cure for anxiety.

Perhaps that was Drake’s plan all along.

Editor’s Note: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of The Lantern. The views expressed are solely that of the columnists.

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