Student perspectives on mental health and the Wellness Center

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The Wellness Center has recently received negative feedback from students who have tried to use the mental health services provided but have not found them to be satisfactory, such as in the case of Gianna Mehes, a senior journalism major.

Another instance of disapproval of the Wellness Center’s mental health resources is this anecdotal thread on the Rowan subreddit, which disputes that the Wellness Center isn’t equipped to handle how many students need their help.

However, these experiences aren’t universal. As each individual is just that, so are their experiences.

Naveen Khan, an alumna who finished her masters in special education this past spring and who attended Rowan as an undergraduate, used the Wellness Center’s one-on-one counseling services from 2014 to 2018 and group therapy sessions for two semesters.

Khan, though she didn’t feel like she was getting the right treatment from the group sessions, found that the one-on-one appointments really helped her mental state.

“I really am so grateful for the Wellness Center and counseling services,” she said. “I don’t think  would be where I am today, or would’ve had the experiences I did at Rowan, without them. They helped me come out of my shell, learn to love myself and how to make the most of all situations.”

Sean O’Donnell, a junior elementary education major with focuses in literature and math, echoed Khan’s thoughts on the Wellness Center’s helpfulness. He has attended psychiatric and counseling appointments for the past year every few weeks, and has found himself to be happier and calmer than he has been in the past.

Though O’Donnell is appreciative of what the Wellness Center has provided him in regards to his mental health, he understands why other students are frustrated about the insufficient number of professionals at the center.

“There are a lot of people and very few people to help them, like the psychiatrist’s only there Tuesdays, so if you can’t get an appointment on Tuesday, like you have all Tuesday classes or something like that, it’s kind of rough to get meds and stuff like that,” he said. “So you have to seek outside help, which is more money out of your pocket, so that’s a little stressful. When you can get time to see someone, they’re pretty helpful.”

O’Donnell further emphasized the importance of having enough staff members to meet the demand for services.

“It would be more helpful if they did have more people… like more counselors to see more students and more than one psychiatrist that’s only there on Tuesdays,” he said.

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