Campus Life

USU Expands Mental Health Support for Fall Semester

By Amanda DeRito |

Students at Utah State University will have access to increased mental health services this fall. Demand for these services has increased at universities across the nation in recent years, and like other universities, USU has worked to balance the need to address mental health services with controlling costs to students and their families. 

“Utah State believes mental health and wellness is important to academic success,” said President Noelle Cockett. “We know some Aggies struggle, and we look to our mental health services and our caring community to help those in distress.”

For fall 2019, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has hired two additional psychologists and one licensed marriage and family therapist, as well as filled three full-time, pre-doctoral psychology internship positions. These interns will each carry a full client caseload throughout the next year. CAPS is also in the process of hiring a full-time social worker (paid for by a student fee passed in 2019) and another full-time psychologist. 

In addition, CAPS works closely with the Student Health Center, which provides brief mental health therapy sessions with USU graduate psychology students working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The Student Health Center is the only office on campus that provides psychiatric medication services.  

Both CAPS and the Student Health Center provide mental health services free of charge to undergraduate students who are enrolled for at least 9 credits and graduate students who are enrolled for at least 6 credits. In addition, students and community members can also receive mental health services based upon a sliding-scale fee schedule through the Behavioral Health Clinic at the Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence. 

For students who would rather not make an appointment, the university funds access for its students to the SafeUT app provided by University of Utah Health Sciences. The mobile app offers short crisis-oriented sessions with trained therapists through a confidential chat feature, or by calling through the app. 

Scott DeBerard, executive director of CAPS and Student Health and Wellness, said all of these resources together should help reduce campus wait times and increase capacity for mental health services during the upcoming year.

President Cockett recently created a steering committee to guide and coordinate USU’s efforts to address mental health issues and ensure that the university maximizes its positive impact on students. This year, USU is developing a comprehensive prevention and wellness promotion program to increase resilience in students and improve their mental well-being. 

In spring 2019, Utah State hired DeBerard, who already oversaw the USU Psychology Community Clinic, with the aim of improving coordination and increasing efficiencies of health services for students. DeBerard has 22 years of experience as a psychology faculty member and practitioner, and his clinical interests are in primary care, health psychology and behavioral medicine.

Learn more about mental health services at www.aggiewellness.usu.edu.
 

WRITER

Amanda DeRito
Director of Crisis Communications and Issues Management
Public Relations and Marketing
435-797-2759
Amanda.derito@usu.edu

CONTACT

Amanda DeRito
Director of Crisis Communications and Issues Management
Public Relations and Marketing
435-797-2759
Amanda.derito@usu.edu


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