University plans to continue expanding mental health services

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Cassidy Gladieux Reporter

Kent State University plans to continuously expand its mental health services provided by the Counseling and Psychological Services located in the Deweese Health Center. The university declared on Feb. 1 its partnership with IMPACT Solutions.

“[IMPACT Solutions] affords us the opportunity to give greater access to licensed clinical staff,” said Lamar Hylton, vice president in the Division of Student Affairs. 

IMPACT Solutions is an outside company that provides up to six confidential counseling sessions at no cost to the student. 

“The ability to bring IMPACT Solutions on has remedied the waitlist and we are much more readily able to connect students to those resources [quicker] than we have in the past,” he said. 

Kent State has been planning this expansion for a number of years.

“Then the pandemic happened and we recognized even more how vital the support services and mental health resources for students are,” Hylton said.

The university enhanced its services with telepsychology, group counseling, after-hours care and an online mental health screening. In an email sent out by the university, there is expanded teleservice in order to support Kent students who may be out of state in an effort to minimize the waitlist.

“Having so many students who chose to stay home and are not in the state of Ohio, there are licensing limitations and we wanted to make sure we had a way to support them and also create more short-term solutions so we are able to help the volume we are noticing on our wait lists,” said Taléa Drummer-Ferrell, the dean of students.

The university plans to continuously expand their mental health services in the future. 

“I think the biggest thing in terms of expanding mental health resources is really accessibility. Trying to make sure we have the resources to meet the needs of students and trying to decrease the time it takes students to get into counseling if they want to do that and also to eliminate a need for a waitlist,” said John Schell, the associate director for Counseling and Psychological Services. 

The Crisis, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support (CARES) Center is another expansion that Kent State plans to build upon.

“[The CARES Center] will focus on helping students connect to their basic needs of food insecurity, homelessness, financial insecurity and mental well-being,” said Hylton.

In addition to supporting students’ needs, the center will also assist students in connecting to off-campus resources that they may qualify for.

The first position within the center, assistant dean of students and director of student advocacy and support, is currently being finalized. 

There is currently no opening date for the CARES Center yet, but students can expect a “large-scale announcement some time between the end of this semester and start of fall semester,” said Drummer-Ferrell. 

Cassidy Gladieux is a mental health reporter. Contact her at [email protected].