GRAND RAPIDS, MI — In response to the growing need for mental health services for students, Davenport University recently announced it has expanded its offerings with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services on all campuses.
“In response to student needs, we’re launching a new partnership with Pine Rest to offer all Davenport University students – regardless of their home campus – one-on-one confidential counseling services free of charge,” President Richard Pappas said in an Oct. 1 press release.
The increased mental health offerings with Pine Rest include free, confidential counseling to students – including same-day support. This new service is at no additional cost to students, as it is built into the cost of tuition.
Pine Rest is offering fall semester counseling exclusively through teletherapy. The university expects to continue onsite appointments at their W.A. Lettinga Campus in January or once social distancing requirements are lifted.
Davenport University has seen an increase in demand among students seeking counseling services in the past few years, in line with the national trend.
According to a study from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University, between the fall of 2009 and spring of 2015 demands for campus counseling has grown nationally at five to six times the pace of enrollment.
Pre-pandemic CDC data shows rising levels of depression and anxiety among 15-to-24-year-olds has contributed to a 51 percent increase in suicide rates in this age group over the past 10 years.
During the time of COVID-19, many students face additional stress and uncertainty. While actions like social distancing are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC reports they can also make people feel isolated and lonely which in turn can increase anxiety and stress levels.
“We want students to reach out for support if they are feeling overwhelmed,” said Pappas. “The day-to-day stresses of college life can be challenging, and the current pandemic has thrust students into uncharted school, home and work life situations.”
Pine Rest clinicians will provide assessment and treatment services, including therapy at all university locations, drop-in appointments at the W.A. Lettinga Campus, student trainings, group therapy, crisis response and more.
Due to the new partnership, students will all receive the same benefits – including up to 12 teletherapy sessions – regardless of their home campus, said Kassy Clark, Campus Life coordinator.
Students will also have access to a 24/7 same-day support line. Clark said on-call counselors will be available to provide service within a 60-minute period, especially helpful for those who may be in between sessions and need additional support.
Clark suggests students take advantage of this new opportunity and to participate in more than one therapy session as they find a therapist that works well for them. She also…