The Case                                                                                                                                          

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were already in the midst of a serious mental health crisis. In his Nov. 18, 2018 article in Psychology Today, Dr. Gregg Enriques reported that up to a third of college students experience mental health problems, and the demand for counseling services on campuses has been rising dramatically in recent years, outstripping the capacity to provide comprehensive treatment to everyone who requests it.

JMU is no different. Every year, demand increases by 10–15%. Despite this mounting challenge, the Counseling Center achieves client satisfaction above 90% as indicated on evaluations, and it continues to be a highly efficient clinical service delivery system that provides timely, quality client care right on the JMU campus, including referrals to other providers as needed.

The Opportunity                                                                                                                            

When our students come back to JMU, we need to be ready.* It’s as if we’re in the quiet before the storm. This temporary retreat to our homes has provided us with a window for taking action to prepare for their return. The most direct way to make a difference is to make a donation today.

In the 2018-19 academic year, our Counseling Center assisted more than 2,000 students (less than 10% of the total student body) with services including

  • short-term (3 to 5 sessions) individual counseling to address personal problems negatively impacting quality of life, as well as referrals to professionals in the local area who accept clients for longer-term clinical services
  • weekly small-group counseling to deal with eating concerns, grief, and more;
  • award-winning specialized treatment programs for issues like anxiety and perfectionism;
  • clinical, educational, consultation, and referral services for survivors of sexual trauma
  • crisis consultation, in person or over the phone, to students, faculty, staff, and others who are concerned about the distressed, unusual, problematic, or potentially harmful behavior of others.

No doubt demand for these counseling services will further increase when JMU welcomes students back to campus, and it’s quite possible that new kinds of treatment will be needed to address mental health fallout from the pandemic.

The Impact                                                                                                                                      

Financial gifts to the JMU Counseling Center provide more clinical services to students. This is the most critical improvement we can make to care, primarily by employing additional part-time clinicians: A $100 gift helps provide 3–5 individual counseling hours for a student. But we can’t wait until the students are back to secure new funding. We need to act now or we will be understaffed and under threat of doing a disservice to many Dukes who will need us more than ever before.

Back to Top