Engemann reevaluates student mental health care daily trojan anoxic brain injury mri

Once she was able, Amit requested an in-person consultation with a mental health counselor at Engemann Student Health Center. But getting one took over a week because Amit did not meet the requirements for a student in “crisis” — she was not experiencing either a loss in her family or a breakup, among other possibilities.

When she finally got to meet a counselor in person, she was told she was in need of “long-term counseling,” which Engemann does not provide for students on an individual basis. Instead, the counselor sent Amit a list of four clinics and centers in downtown Los Angeles.

“I felt that they pushed me off to the side because they prioritized short-term counseling,” Amit said. “I would have appreciated even short-term counseling, but they just told me that since my issues were more long-term, they couldn’t offer me anything except group therapy, which I didn’t want.”


Engemann is now working to reduce these numbers, announcing earlier this fall that the mental health department will add 12 new full-time therapists over the next two years. anxiety symptoms cure According to Robert Mendola, USC’s executive director for student mental health, the center’s goal is to establish trust between students and mental health service providers on campus.

Engemann’s mental health services prioritize students in crisis or at risk of harming themselves, Mendola said. To that end, short-term care aims to help students grappling with problems like failing an exam or getting over a breakup. Counselors evaluate students and refer those like Amit — who might require more specialized therapy or prefer to talk to someone of a specific gender — to clinics, centers or social workers based on their needs. hypoxic brain injury recovery time The places students are referred to can be as far as Santa Monica or Beverly Hills.

“I just feel that it’s a lot harder for students to get a referral and then muster up the strength to call them and deal with that on your own,” Amit said. “[Engemann] should hold your hand and walk you through the referral process if they don’t offer the services.”

Though the University focuses its resources on short-term care, Mendola said, the department is so underfunded that one therapist oversees 1,800 students. The International Association of Counseling Services recommends having one therapist per 1,000 students for the highest quality of care.

In a memo to the USC community on Aug. 20, Chief Health Officer Sarah Van Orman stated that Engemann aims to reduce the percentage of referred students down to 20 to 30 percent by adding 10 full-time therapists throughout this academic year and two more the following year. So far five new therapists have already begun working at Engemann.

But for Amit, these changes don’t address the need for long-term care — which would treat more serious issues like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. hypoxic and anoxic brain injury Amit said at the very least officials should provide more support and follow-up with students throughout the referral process.

Short-term care can work for some students, as Angela Villamizar found — but not everyone has access. anoxic zone A few weeks into her sophomore year, Villamizar sought help from Engemann’s mental health services, starting with a brief phone assessment in 2016.

“There were just a lot of transitions that were happening from all the excitement from freshman year,” said Villamizar, now a senior majoring in international relations and non-governmental organizations and social change. “There was a period in September for two weeks where I really didn’t want to do anything. I was always in bed, and when I woke up, I didn’t look forward to the day.”

Knowing that the lack of counselors would place her on a waitlist, Villamizar decided to enroll in a program in Engemann that allowed her to meet with a graduate student pursuing a career in mental health counseling. She spent eight sessions with the graduate student, an unlicensed therapist, an experience she called “very lucky.”

Most students are restricted to six sessions at Engemann before they are referred off campus, if they still require more support. anoxic seizures in adults But mental health cannot be solved by a “magical pill” that wipes away students’ problems, Villamizar said. It requires time and consistent meetings.

“The first session is really you just processing through things and then seeing where you’re at,” Villamizar said. “The rest of the sessions really help you open up more, and your counselor gets to know you. If you only have four sessions, that really hinders their ability to pinpoint certain things and for you to feel the benefits of going. You need the time and the process.”

Angela Villamizar, a senior majoring in international relations and non-governmental organizations and social change, sought help at an Engemann program that allowed an unlicensed graduate student to counsel her. (Sinead Chang | Daily Trojan)

“If you’re in a season [where] there is more acuity, students are coming in with greater distress,” Mendola said. “What that does is push back your routine — people who could benefit from short-term counseling even farther into the wait because with the limited amount of staff, you are always going to see the ones who are in acute need first.”

Mendola said he spent the past year reevaluating the mental health department — for example, hiring more therapists from the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s psychiatry department. Mendola hopes this will help reduce the number of referrals by bringing therapists closer to where students live on campus. He also plans to hire two behavioral health consultants who can help establish policies and procedures.

“To send a student without a car [and] with a tight schedule to take an hour each way just to see someone for 50 minutes is not realistic,” Mendola said. “The fact that we could make a difference at USC around those struggles will be something that we should be proud of, and we are in the process of that.”

Engemann has also adopted JED Campus, an assessment and strategic planning initiative, to gather more insight on students’ mental health. Through JED Campus, Engemann has launched surveys like Healthy Minds to gather student responses for a four-year internal review.

Let’s Talk, a program Engemann piloted this semester, allows students who do not feel comfortable with the school’s mental health services to receive support. nanoxia deep silence 6 review Students can walk into sites scattered throughout cultural centers and the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as on the Health Sciences Campus, and have conversations with Engemann officials without feeling the pressure of having a counseling record at the health center.

Villamizar, a resident assistant at Fluor Tower, said that Engemann has been offering resources like therapy groups through residential education, as well as support meetings for residential assistants. However, she thinks that the center still has a long way to go in establishing trust with students.

“They’ve been trying to address the issues that are there, but I don’t think they know how to,” Villamizar said. “They’re still trying to be proactive, but they’re actually reactive … But it’s important that they’re engaging with the community and in those conversations.”