Georgetown’s structures for addressing mental health offer a dangerously low quality of service.
In an op-ed (“The Invisible Patient,” March 27, 2015, The Hoya, A3) Jairus Nytes (COL ’16) described being forced into leaves of absences after Counseling and Psychiatric Services failed to provide him with adequate care. Demand for mental health services is high, and as Nytes noted, current vehicles for addressing mental health concerns continue to be underfunded and ineffective.
To change this status quo, Nytes launched Creating Survivors, an organization aimed at advocating for better-funded care, offering counseling that is not fiscally prohibitive and training educators to provide support for at-risk students.
In doing so, Creating Survivors tackles the glaring need for better access to care at Georgetown, and it is time for students and administrators to embrace this new resource.
In setting reasonable goals to confront aspects of mental health that are not seriously met by CAPS, this initiative is a refreshing new resource for students who were failed by CAPS.
However, despite its significant potential, the organization must face the challenge of being adequately institutionalized.
Peer counselors — who require three semesters of training before certification — and adequate funding are not easy to come by. But it is up to Creating Survivors to prove to both students and administrators, through good and accessible care, that it can bridge the gap between demand for mental health care and what CAPS is able to supply.
Having proven this, students should also be willing to take advantage of the service, and not shy away from using it when CAPS is found lacking.
As it stands Creating Survivors is poised to contend with CAPS and become an essential resource for the betterment of Georgetown students.
Mental health must be addressed proactively; counseling must be available and accessible to all. Creating Survivors offers this; it’s time we all get on board.
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