Katelynn Sweeney 0

Mental Wellness NOT Make a Waitlist

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For the 2014-2015 school year, Pennsylvania State University allotted Student Affairs under $40 million of its over $4.6 billion budget. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a department under Student Affairs, received only $1.4 million of the Student Affairs budget. Using the exact numbers, only 0.031% of total university funds goes to mental health services at Penn State.

A growing number of college students suffer from mental illness but the current state of mental health services on college campuses is not the equipped to handle this growing need. This topic is a significant issue that requires immediate attention. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that three out of four students living with mental illness on college campuses have had a mental health crisis with more than one-third of those students reporting that their college did not know about their crisis.

This may largely be a result of the underfunded mental health services provided on college campuses which land a large number of students in need on a waiting list. From 2010 to 2012, the average maximum number of students on a waiting list for institutions with more than 25,000 students nearly doubled according to an article in Monitor on Psychology published by the American Psychological Association.

To resolve problem of wait lists as a result of under-funding, Penn State needs to invest in setting up the Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) program (http://www.taoconnect.org/#home) like many other universities have already done.

If you believe that the Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning should increase funding to CAPS in order invest in implementing the TAO program, then sign this petition.

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