By Nadir Roberts
Due to a significant increase in requests for counseling over recent years, the College’s Counseling and Psychological Services has expanded its program to meet the needs of students, according to an email by Mark Forest, the director of CAPS.
According to Forest, CAPS has seen a 50 percent increase in staff since he became director in 2014. The new positions include clinical case managers, diversity and inclusion initiative coordinators and LGBTQ+ specialists.
CAPS, which in the past has typically specialized in short-term treatment, has begun to implement more resources and options for long-term mental health treatment. These services include the Community Counseling Collaborative, which opened in December on the fourth floor of Forcina Hall. While still in development, the program brings licensed mental health providers to campus for long term care at low costs for students.
The mental healthcare component of InFocus Urgent Care, Cavi, is another long term mental health program due to open in Campus Town this semester. The business is working to expand the number of insurance plans they accept, according to a campus-wide email.
The new Center for Integrated Health, Education and Learning, formerly known as the TCNJ Clinic, will offer training opportunities for students and local community members. Long-term health services will be limited this semester, but will expand by next year.
The new center, located on the first floor of Forcina Hall, will soon offer new physical health plans, massages and yoga.
“It’s going to be more holistically framed,” Forest said. “It’s sort of an integrated health model.”
CAPS has also developed a database with a growing list of mental health providers in the local community. The program filters information based on the qualifications of a patient’s insurance company and other specific needs of the client.
According to Forest, all 180 community providers have been screened, and are specialized to meet the needs of the students.
Ewing Township is a smaller community compared to neighboring areas, and there are not as many doctors, therapists or other healthcare providers near the College, which makes it harder to accommodate students or other residents of Ewing who have difficulty finding transportation.
The Community Counseling Collaboration allows for those living in Ewing, as well as students at the College, to use its services.
“The demand is so high and we’re trying to provide the most service to the most people as we possibly can,” Forest said.
Costs for treatment will vary depending on each student’s health insurance plan.
While there are more improvements currently in the works, CAPS has made many of its updates available to students seeking assistance.