In response to the increase in demand for its services, Ball State's Counseling Center will be starting Care Planning Group appointments starting Monday, a campus-wide email from the center states.
Since Aug. 1, the email states the Counseling Center has had more than 1,100 students request its services — more than half the number of students who were seen in all of last year.
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Starting Nov. 4, students who contact the center for mental health services will be scheduled to attend a Care Planning Group appointment, it states.
During these appointments, students will be asked to complete a confidential online questionnaire about the reason for their visit, the email states. Students, in groups of 10-15 students, will then meet with two therapists who will work with them to develop an individualized and confidential Personal Care Plan to help address immediate concerns.
These groups will be confidential, it states. Personal information will not be shared, students will not have to talk about why they are coming in the groups, and the personal care plans will not be shared with anyone else in the group.
The center will offer at least 10 of these groups each week at different days and times to make it is easy for students to attend a group session that fits their schedule.
This allows the Counseling Center to create space for students who haven't yet contacted the center and allows it to spend more time with students who require additional supports, the email states.
This is not a permanent change in the Counseling Center's services, but allows it to provide quicker access to services for the remainder of the fall semester.
It states the center will continue to offer urgent and ongoing individual appointments to students as appropriate. It will monitor the new system to ensure effectiveness in meeting students' needs.