EDITORIAL: Brandeis Counseling Center needs more resources
Although the BCC has hired more counselors in the past few years — and this board acknowledges that this is difficult — some students go off campus or to group therapy sessions for their specific needs. Von Steiger said that in order to accommodate the many students who seek therapy sessions, the BCC cannot offer students more than one appointment per week. To accommodate students that need to see a therapist more than once a week, the BCC offers the option of going off campus. This board appreciates that the BCC helps students find these opportunities, but recommends that with the approval of the administration, the BCC should help to make sure students who go off campus have the means to do so. Providing additional transportation to the location the individual is referred to can help students financially and make the experience even more positive. Off campus therapists can be in Newton, Cambridge or Boston, according to Von Steiger, so subsidizing commuter rail expenses — which the Student Union already plans to offer for students pursuing internships in Boston, according to Union President Hannah Brown ’19 — is a possibility.
Additionally, group therapy is another noteworthy option provided by the BCC. According to the 2017 editorial, some students had positive experiences with group therapy and the quality of care they were receiving. However, the BCC should continue to monitor the needs of the Brandeis community and re-evaluate the offerings based on those needs. There are currently 22 group sessions offered, but no amount of group sessions can fulfill every student’s need. Therefore, the BCC should consider changing meetings times every semester or so to better accommodate a variety of schedules. This board also recognizes the BCC’s commitment to providing some additional student support with the introduction of the with counselors who hold regular weekly hours in locations around campus including residence quads such as North and Massell, as well as academic and athletic spaces including Gosman, Heller and the Science Center.
Lastly, the drop in hours of the BCC are 11 a.m to noon. and 3 p.m to 4 p.m., limiting the possibilities for students to seek help in this manner. Offering a wider range of hours would help more students use this service.
While efforts have been made on the part of the BCC in the past few years, this board encourages this important University service to continue to improve. As more students are seeking the BCC’s help and services, it is important to meet those students’ needs as best as possible.