Lipscomb’s University Counseling Center has seen an increase in the demand for mental health services this semester, due in part to the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The University Counseling Center, located on the second floor of the Student Activities Center, offers free, confidential services to all Lipscomb students.
“In the past, the Counseling Center has seen faculty and staff, but something that is new this year is that we are limiting it to just students so we can be more available because there is the expectation that we are going to have an increased number (of students). I think there has already been an increase in demand for services,” said Ashley Dumas, assistant director of the Counseling Center.
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression have been on the rise nationwide this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Among Lipscomb students, it is no different.
While mental health conditions are typically more prevalent in 18-25-year-olds than other age groups, the events of this year have caused an increase in the demand for mental health counseling among young adults.
“We certainly are seeing an increase in appointment requests,” said Dumas. “Generally, for college students, mental health issues are on the rise and that was the case before Covid-19 happened. What we are seeing in those appointment requests is (that) a high number are anxiety-related, stress and depression.”
Despite an increase in appointment requests, the University Counseling Center has been able to keep up with the demand for their services thus far.
“Right now, we are managing the demand. We have a lot of graduate interns, so with that and staff, we are able to keep up with the demand. Of course, we are still just a few weeks into the semester, so we’ll see what the semester brings. We have a really great and experienced staff, so we are working well,” said Dumas.
Lipscomb’s University Counseling Center is unique in that it offers its services to students free of charge and does not limit the number of sessions a student can attend. The staff is prepared to welcome those with counseling experience, as well as those who are new to the process.
“We have free, confidential services and that is something that we are able to offer that not all college campuses offer. We don’t limit the number of sessions, so any student can fill out an appointment request. It is really easy to do and I would encourage anyone to go online to www.lipscomb.edu/counselingcenter where there is an appointment request that they fill out.
Allie Shivener, our coordinator, will take (the appointment request) and respond really quickly, usually within a day, and will set up a time for them to come in and do the intake and get assigned to a counselor,” said Dumas.
College can be a stressful time even without a global pandemic, so anyone who is interested is encouraged to seek support from the Counseling Center.
“It is a stressful time for everyone right now. Everyone’s baseline anxiety is just up, whether you are a student, faculty or staff. College is a transition time, so even without Covid-19, it is a time that is stressful. Students right now are having to continually adapt and adjust and (are) just requiring more mental and emotional energy. It is a great time to seek services, so any student who is considering (counseling) I would highly encourage to seek that out,” said Dumas.
If you are interested in receiving help from the University Counseling Center, you can fill out the intake form at https://www.lipscomb.edu/form/request-for-initial-appointment.