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More and more Purdue University students seek mental health services

More and more Purdue University students are seeking mental health services. It's a trend that is happening to college-aged students across the nation.

Posted: Nov. 23, 2017 12:00 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — More and more Purdue University students are seeking mental health services. It's a trend that is happening to college-aged students across the nation.

"So far this year, we've seen a little over 2,000 students who have sought services from us," said CAPS Director Susan Prieto-Welch.

For many students, stress is simply a part of college life. Between the exams, tuition and some of the unavoidable fees more and more students are taking advantage of health centers like CAPS or Purdue's Counseling and Psychological Services.

"We've been very fortunate to add additional staff, each of the last three years. The biggest cohort of new staff for us is this year, with six additional staff lines, thankfully," said Prieto-Welch.

Because of the demand, Purdue President Mitch Daniels added six more counseling positions at CAPS. However, it was difficult filling the positions until recently.

"There are a number of counseling services who have been adding positions in the last few years and it's really become an applicant's market. So sometimes it's a bit challenging," said Prieto-Welch.

Currently, there are 26 counselors working at the CAPS. Prieto-Welch said they've has also expanded services, including group therapy sessions.

"So we have not only more groups running, but also different kinds of groups running to address various needs," said Prieto-Welch.

The health center has also added an on-call service that helps students who are in a mental health crisis. It allows them to talk that same day.

"The numbers for on call for us have increased steadily. It's also a reflection of just the increased demand," said Prieto-Welch.

This year, there have been 173 on-call appointments and 18 hospitalizations. CAPS counselors said the vast majority of the on-call cases and the need for hospitalization is because clients were suicidal or threatening to harm themselves.

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