On Monday we posted an article about the Engle Center and the decision to begin charging for counseling services after the fifth session. The article generated discussion and many comments on social media. This prompted us to reach out to students for their opinions.
Quotes gathered from a random selection of students in the Student Union.
“Services cost money. We are shielded from a lot of those things because we have so many resources on campus so its abnormal to us if we have to pay for something, but healthcare, in reality, is so expensive. That’s kind of just how the healthcare system is.” -Libby Adams, senior, human development and family science major
“The need for counseling services are higher now than they ever were before and keeping that in mind, it’s sad that they need to charge for services. But I understand that its necessary because they’d need to hire on more staff members to accommodate for the amount of people there are. ” -Andre Kerlin, junior, computer and information science major
“For some people, this is their only place to get help. Some people don’t have cars and can’t drive off campus to get help. If you’re going to get rid of any services on a college campus, mental health services should not be one of those things.” -Katie Sechrist, senior, nursing major
“If they think they do their job in 5 sessions, then its reasonable for them to charge after the fifth session.” -David Kudrick, freshman, biology major
“It doesn’t take just five visits to cure someone of their mental illness. And a huge barrier to someone getting hep is cost…People shouldn’t be turned away from seeking help. Hire more counselors, add on more hours… or don’t build the Welcome Center, focus on the student population we have here.” -Carly Rechenburg, senior, nursing major
“I think it’s a reasonable cost to invest in mental health. If Messiah is offering counseling at a cheaper price than what’s around, I think its beneficial for people that need counseling.” -Dakota Schmalz, senior, biology major
“I understand why they needed to do it, but I think it discourages students even with more minor problems like anxiety from going. I think it really discourages getting help when it’s needed.” -Emma Lawell, senior, biology major
“As someone who has utilized the Engle Center for counseling services before, I feel that [charging] is a barrier to want to continue counseling [after five sessions]. I can understand that students can become a ‘no-show’ and that can be a lot of time and money. But this doesn’t really give the most positive outlook.” -Tetsuo Takahara, junior, psychology major
“I think it’s disappointing that we continue to build more things when funds could be allocated to the mental health of people that are already here.” -Alexis Robinson, junior, education major