AU counseling center plans for higher demand

AU counseling center plans for higher demand

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The Auburn University Counseling Service center, located on second floor of the AU Medical Clinic, has been helping students for decades.

According to the American college Counseling Association, 92 percent of campus counseling centers surveyed in 2012 says the number of students seeking help has increased in recent years.

AU counseling professionals say the demand is no different on campus.

"I've been here for 15 years and each year we've seen an increase in the number of students that we see here and I would say within the last three to four years we've seen a fairly significant increase and there are a variety of reasons for that," explains Dr. Doug Hankes, Director of AU's Student Counseling Service Center.

Reasons for increases in demand vary, but the awareness of mental health on campuses has grown in.

The Center has advertised their services more heavily since campus tragedies, like the murder of AU student Lauren Burk.

"We do respond to these campus crisis, so a lot of the time the services we provide people end up seeing us not right after these events, it's kind of after the shock of these events have occurred," says Hankes.

The highest percentages of students seen are returning military veterans and students dealing with depression and stress related issues.

During the center's busiest time of year a non-emergency appointment could mean a week and a half wait.

In the growing demand for services by students in Auburn, the center is in the process of expanding their facility and hiring more counselors.

"We're pretty much maxed out as far as the number of students we can see, but the University recognizes that increase in demand so we've been given resources to hire a couple more counselors and psychologists so we can meet that increasing demand," explains Hankes.

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