Increase in counseling visits during finals

Mason Carroll

With students pushing to finish out the semester, the Counseling and Mental Health Center is seeing an increase in appointments to help students through this stressful time, said Katy Redd, CMHC associate director for prevention and outreach.

There are specific times of the year when the center sees an increase in counselor visits, Redd said.

“In general, there has been a trend of our numbers increasing every year, but there are also certain times of the year when our clinicians schedules are more full,” Redd said. “That tends to be in November and April.”

The leading cause for visits to the center is anxiety related, followed by depression and then stress related problems, Redd said. 

“Of course, we know our students are dealing with multiple issues, and we’re well trained to handle what comes through our doors,” Redd said. “The staff that we have are licensed mental health professionals who are trained specifically in working with the college age population.”

Psychology sophomore Kyanna Richard said she plans to use the counseling services for the first time this week to help with stress from finals.

“It makes me feel a lot better to know I’m not the only one,” Richard said. “It’s a good thing, not a bad thing. (There is an increase in students) because they are going to seek help and find a way to diminish their stress going through finals week. Just (to have) someone to vent feelings to and then to fell better after venting.

Nutrition senior Amy Fang used the counseling services once before to support her friend, but she wishes she had gone more in the four years she’s been at UT.

“I remember a time my sophomore year I was really stressed and everything just kept piling up, and so I think back then I should have gone just to have someone to listen,” Fang said.

Having social connections is one of the biggest factors of maintaining good mental health, along with mindfulness and gratitude, Redd said. During finals, Redd said students can find themselves needing a little extra help.

“Their kind of normal mechanisms for coping aren’t quite working, and they need a little bit of professional help to get through what they are dealing with,” Redd said. “That’s really what the Counseling and Mental Health Center are here for.”