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Mental health services expand to better serve students
University Health Services (UHS) expanded its mental health services to better accommodate the needs of UW-Madison students.
As part of a larger effort to increase students’ access to care, UHS hired additional providers that will begin serving students this semester. These new staff members represent a diverse mix of clinical social workers, counselors, and psychologists.
Included among the hires are six positions which are newly funded, two of which are specifically funded by Chancellor Becky Blank to seek to meet the needs of students of color.
“We see this as an opportunity to broaden the scope of our services and reach more students who may be looking to use our mental health services,” said Andrea Lawson, Interim Co-Director of Mental Health Services at UHS.
The hires build upon an already robust staff that offers individual, group, and couple/partner counseling, as well as outreach services such as Let’s Talk and services offered to faculty and staff. All counseling services are confidential, open to all enrolled UW students, and are available at no cost.
The new staff members were hired in response to recent campus events and to meet growing student need for mental health services. In 2015, discussion surrounding #TheRealUW highlighted shortcomings in diversity and the climate on campus. Data from the spring 2015 NCHA survey showed that nearly 27 percent of UW System students reported being diagnosed or treated by a professional for some mental health condition within the last year. In a survey conducted by UHS in 2016, 36 percent of students said they would like to see UHS add additional mental health services.
“We are constantly striving toward accommodating the needs of students at UHS, and adding to our mental health staff is part of that process,” said Sarah Van Orman, Executive Director of UHS.
To access Mental Health Services at UHS, drop-in to Mental Health Services between 9 am and 4 pm on the 7th floor of UHS at 333 East Campus Mall. For more information, visit https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/mental-health/.
 University of Wisconsin System Reference Group Executive Summary, Spring 2015
Written by Ben Vincent, UHS Web and Publications Editor