There is suffering, and he wants to comfort others. According to physicians, who wish to remain anonymous because of their status as public employees, Elvis is among 35 pediatric oncology and hematology patients at the J. Four of the children have siblings who can be donors.
There are only two centers in the country that are performing the costly procedure. We have to get one every 15 days because the estimate changes," Moreno said. If my son dies, I die with him. I see the numbers, and I just shake. We just hope for a miracle. The public hospital's employees said at least four children who weren't able to get bone marrow transplants died this year.
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Kids in Crisis wait for mental health help
Recent studies have suggested that there are increasing rates of anxiety and depression in young people, and that teens and people in their 20s are more anxious and depressed than any generation before them. Yet many of the experts who spoke to VICE for this story suggested otherwise. Locke says that the dramatic rise of reported mental health concerns is instead the result of decades of efforts by public and private organizations to increase the visibility of mental health issues and decrease the negative stigma associated with seeking professional help.
The fact that modern students are more informed about mental health issues and empowered to seek out counseling is itself a triumph.
In every year between and , the number of AUCCCD respondents that reported that their operating budgets remained constant was nearly double the number of centers that saw operating budgets increase. What's more, many schools that have managed to increase staff are nonetheless unable to increase their ability to meet student demand.
These trends come amidst a decade of decreasing state funding for public universities, with at least 45 states investing less in collegiate education in than in , even though state revenues have rebounded following the recession. As universities raise tuition, cut faculty, and pursue other cost-saving expenses, counseling centers often cannot attain the additional resources they need to treat more and more students. Any solution to the national waiting period problem must include additional resources for counseling centers in order to keep pace with the steady growth of students seeking mental health services.
This singular theme, this overarching need for the resources to handle increased demand, was reflected in every interview VICE conducted on this topic. Locke and other counselors pointed to the aforementioned data showing the tepid increase in counseling-center staffing and resources compared to the meteoric rise of students seeking help, saying that the waiting periods are unlikely to decrease until universities match the supply of staff with the demands of students.
But, as state education budgets remain constrained and calls for additional resources go unheeded, many directors are trying to balance long-term counseling needs with urgent counseling needs, and, in the process, considering what the role of a counseling center itself should be.
When College Students Want Mental Health Help but Get Stuck Waiting in Line
At the University of Richmond, LeViness and his team have looked to balance the needs of students presenting urgent concerns with the long-term mission of providing ongoing counseling. With limited hands and limited cash, centers are having to choose what, and whom, they should focus their limited efforts on. But when the waitlist ballooned to people, the office shifted priorities, converting 25 counseling slots from ongoing care to quick visitation for faster access. While the waitlist has decreased, it remains stubbornly hard to eliminate, and the center now has less capacity for ongoing care.
While the experts VICE spoke to seemed to agree that additional resources would alleviate the issue, some doubted that increasing funds or staff could completely solve it. According to Krasnow, the entire university has a role to play in addressing mental health concerns.
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Under his leadership, Arizona State eliminated waitlists in part by integrating the counseling center with offices across campus. In his view, in order to address the needs and concerns of the whole person, the counseling center has to engage with the whole university, bringing in physical and social well-being as important factors in alleviating the burden on the counseling center—and helping students find what will work best for them.
Despite being a campus of more than 40, students, patients can be seen the same day they reach out to the office due to an institutional design that allows clinicians time to treat new clients and not fill their caseloads months in advance.