Counseling and Psychological Services has reported over a 50% increase for walk-in appointment services this semester in comparison to last semester, according to CAPS officials.
Bong Joo Hwang, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said the number of walk-ins for urgent counseling this semester has been more than in any previous semester.
“It has been a trend this semester due to [an] increase of 2,000 more students this semester,” Hwang said. “I want to say this generation has grown up with a lot of trauma directly and indirectly.”
From Aug. 27, 2018, to Oct. 25, 2018 CAPS had 80 urgent calls from faculty, staff, students, and 86 urgent student walk-ins for urgent counseling appointments.
This semester, in the same time-frame, CAPS has had 65 urgent calls from faculty, staff, students, and 177 urgent student walk-ins for urgent counseling appointments.
In the spring, CAPS is looking to hire four more counselors.
“For me it’s a balancing act to try and hire more counselors, I cannot ask my counselors to do more,” Hwang said. “We are trying to be equitable to our students in terms of counseling service.”
Urgent walk-in wait times can range from five minutes to two hours but visits are unlimited during the semester. Students can schedule appointments with any of the counselors as well.
CAPS also employs a case manager that connects students with community resources based on their insurance, if they need further services outside of campus.
However, students don’t have to feel alone in their mental health battles with the help of CAPS.
“The most stressful thing about starting at Long Beach was the [number] of assignments I was getting,” said Nathan Fry, a first-year computer science major. “I was over-organizing my thoughts and the stress was so overwhelming that my mental health deteriorated. My cousin who is also a student here gave me some advice and said if I’m feeling overwhelmed to just take it one day at a time.”
Wendy Davila, a third-year journalism major, said developing a check-in system is one of the most important aspects of practicing and achieving positive mental health.
“It’s so important for me to check in daily because when my mental health isn’t up to par, I see my motivation going down like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel,” Davila said. “It’s crucial to take five and analyze your day, the good and the bad. When we are stressed we often forget about ourselves.”
Located in E. James Brotman Hall, the CAPS office is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services Inc. and offers free individual and group counseling for students.
The CAPS staff is comprised of 10 full-time counselors and two part-time counselors that offer services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“For me, when I work for too long without a break, I get very stressed and my mental health takes a toll,” said Thomas Cantu, a first-year business management major. “Meeting with friends is very helpful and finding a support group that understands what you are going through is huge.”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, adults with a major depressive episode were highest among individuals aged 18 to 25. In 2018, almost 45% of CSULB students are in the 18 to 21 age bracket, according to college factual.
Students are encouraged to walk in at any time and schedule an appointment and have the option of meeting with any staff counselor as urgently and frequently as needed.
For more information contact CAPS at 562-985-4001.