Counseling center addresses increase in mental health issues among college students

By Christina Soto | Broadcast Reporter

You make think the Baylor counseling center grew in size due to the Title IX issues but actually there has been a growing concern of mental health on campus and nationwide.

Director of the Counseling Center, Dr. Jim Marsh said that the increase in the size of Baylor Counseling Center has to do with both, Title IX issues and the for the growth of mental health issues among college students.

“We have been adding positions almost one a year for the last few years that’s probably what people don’t know when things happened with title nine and Baylor University that brought attention to our ability to serve students,” Marsh said.

41.6 percent of college students suffer from anxiety, Kellar, junior, Tiffany Bounpaseuth was one of them and it wasn’t till she went to the counseling center that she began to feel better. Bounpaseuth said that the counseling center broke down everything that was going on with her and reassured her what she was feeling was normal and common.

“They kind of just told me this is what is going on and it’s totally normally. Everyone is going through this and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that I was part of a community and that we can all help each other out,” Bounpaseuth said.

Around the nation, colleges have begun to double their counseling centers in size because of growing mental health issues amongst college students. 91 percent of counseling center directors reported that there are greater numbers of students with severe psychological problems on their campuses.

Marsh has been at Baylor for the last 18 years and he has been able to see the increase in need throughout his time here.

“Last year we saw 1296 students about a 10 percent increase from the year before, as we added our new staff we have seen 1808,” said Marsh.

Approximately 10 percent of students on campus have reached out to the counseling center this year, increasing by 600 students from last year. These numbers are rapidly increasing and that is not including students who suffer from mental health issues who do not attend the counseling center.

By attending counseling research has found that 60 percent said it has helped improve their academic performance, this is true on Baylor’s campus.

The Baylor Counseling Center is continuing to work on ways to reach out to more members of the student body to address the issue of mental health and to normalize the conversations of it.