University’s four counselors struggle to keep up with demand

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Florida A&M’s Office of Counseling Services [OCS], located in the CASS building, is in high demand from students to meet with counselors in order to better themselves during the academic school year. 

The OCS has been dealing with this problem due to the high number of appointment requests this year and, as a result, OCS is feeling the heat from students. 

For some, scheduling an appointment in a timely manner has become difficult.

For others, it’s simply believing it’s a good thing to have access to counseling in spite of the situation.

Jordyn Famimiko, a doctor of pharmacy candidate, acknowledges the importance of student accessibility in terms of the OCS.

“I think it is essential for students to have accessibility to resources like the counseling center for three main reasons,” Famimiko said. 

From first to fourth year, some students face different challenges such as a busy school schedule, or personal issues, and with all these issues comes more sit-down time with a counselor.

So how can it be resolved?

Alicia Jackson, coordinator of clinical programs and a certified QPR Instructor, is well aware of the high level of appointment requests this year.

“So there are top five reasons why students need counseling, number one is anxiety, number two is depression, number three is stress, then there is relationships being number four and the last one is trauma,” Jackson said. “Typically students come here because they are really just stressed and it may be for a variety of reasons.” 

Every semester, the OCS is flooded with students seeking assistance and guidance in their daily lives. The OCS is working diligently to make sure those needs are being met.

“There is a small fact that people aren’t seeing, right now in the counseling center there are only four counselors including myself,” Jackson said, “Right now we’re seeing a high level or amount of students this semester especially.”

For those who are waiting patiently for their appointment date and time, Jackson recommends an alternative for those seeking help now.

“To solve this issue we have something that is called BetterMynd, which is a virtual platform that allows students to see someone virtually and within 24 to 48 hours,” Jackson said. 

For students using the BetterMynd option, the chances for an “on time” appointment improves. 

“Use our virtual option because it is more open and there is no way someone could not have an appointment,” Jackson said.