Evaluate sources of mental health issue

by Erica Hinchcliffe, University student

As a current student at the University of Minnesota, I was quite concerned to read about the waitlist for mental health counseling in Tuesday’s issue. Although Boynton plans to increase its clinical capacity by 15 percent this academic school year, it is clear that we have a larger issue at hand. As mentioned in the Oct. 23 article, “A waitlist for mental health,” each of 10 mental health clinics throughout the country have shown an increased need for mental health services among students. I believe that additional support must be added to both our campuses. However, I think that students and faculty alike must begin asking why this trend is occurring in the first place. Our University structure seems to be treating the wound but neglecting to deal with the cause of such problems.

In an environment where so many individuals are actively seeking mental health support, why is it that there is not more open discussion occurring within the University community about this issue? If there are so many students reaching out for help, how many students are being missed that may be silently struggling? Mental health is a topic that cannot and should not be set aside or stigmatized. I believe that the University family needs to take a closer look at this problem and question whether we are doing what we should to prevent mental health issues among our peers.