The CAPS Department Really Needs to Step it Up

Photo Courtesy / ESU CAPS organizes ESU's Send Silence Packing event for National Suicide Awareness month back in 2018.

Adam Capotorto

Staff Writer

Mental health is a topic that flies under the radar for so many organizations and institutions. It affects so many people, not just globally, but right here on campus too.

College is stressful enough as is, but for the people who struggle mentally here at ESU, it’s even harder.

Harder than it needs to be.

CAPS is our best and only mental health service on campus, and frankly, it’s not good enough.

Not in the sense that those who work in CAPS aren’t doing a good job, they’re professionals and they know what they’re doing, but there’s not enough of them.

There is a grand total of three psychologists in the CAPS program.

Three psychologists for a student body of nearly 7000.

That is a shamefully low ratio. I would understand the low number of psychologists if the service wasn’t utilized, but it is.

People have appointments booked months in advance, sometimes people can’t even get an appointment at all.

The severity of this cannot be stated enough.

There are people in need of psychological aid, and they have to wait a ridiculous amount of time to get it if any at all.

CAPS will take immediate emergency visits but if you’re having anything other than an emergency, you have to wait months.

So that thing that has been eating at you for the last few days or weeks causing you to lose sleep, fail exams, and generally impede your way of life, will just have to keep going unchecked for a month or so longer.

CAPS is a failing system, and it really shouldn’t be.

We have qualified personnel already but we need so much more.

A person shouldn’t have to wait so long to get help, because its going to affect everything they do on campus, from their grades to their social life.

Mental illness cannot be alleviated like some physical sickness or ailment.

There isn’t an option to ice the affected area or take an over-the-counter painkiller.

Mental health needs immediate and professional treatment so that people who are suffering can live a normal life.

Quite honestly. It just feels like CAPS was only put on campus to meet a government mandate.

It’s too small and too understaffed to be a mere oversight. CAPS is booked almost every semester, so there’s no chance the service can be written off as an unnecessary one.

It looks like the real issue is that no one in authority wants to address mental health as a real issue.

Not to quote the movie Joker but we live in a society where people with mental illnesses are expected to behave as if they don’t have one.

We have so many people here at ESU fighting battles only they can see, and we don’t have enough resources for them. Their grades suffer, they close themselves in, and they don’t want to be at ESU anymore because they can’t get the help they need.

Then when they talk to anyone about what they’re going through, they just get told to go to CAPS.

If only it were that easy.

We’re told to be warrior strong.

But I think we forgot that sometimes warriors need help too.

Email Adam at:

acapotorto@live.esu.edu

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