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Results of CAPS Survey Generally Positive, but Raise Some Concerns

This article is the second installment of a series on student mental well-being. The first installment, about discussing grades and stress, can be found here.

The full results of the CAPS survey can be found here.

Last week, The Clerk sent a survey to the student body about their experiences with Haverford’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Although The Clerk will be covering many of the issues brought up more in depth during the semester, some basic trends emerged from the results. They indicated that while most students have had positive experiences with CAPS, there are many areas in which they need to improve, specifically ease of access in terms of scheduling, types of therapy offered, and ensuring that counselors are sensitive to the needs of students with marginalized identities.

Of the approximately 200 students who responded, about three fourths said they had been to CAPS. Of those students, about 65% of people who go to CAPS utilize the resource once a week. Additionally, 71% of people said they would return to CAPS for help, and 77% of people said they would recommend the resource to other people. These statistics show that many students are benefiting from this free therapeutic resource on campus.

Although the resource appears to be helpful to many, the survey did show that it is not necessarily as successful at providing a beneficial mental health outlet for all students.

Specifically, in the survey’s last question asking if/how people’s identities have affected their comfortableness with the resources, many  responded that their identity had contributed to negative experiences with CAPS. [Ed. Note: We apologize again for the error in the first version of this survey that made this question unanswerable, especially because it deals with such an important and sensitive topic]. Responses indicated some students perceive a lack of training around and sensitivity to issues surrounding race, sexuality, and gender. Some also noted having more specific resources for international students would be helpful.

Another concerning statistic was that it took over half of students surveyed over a week to get an appointment with a counselor. Some students also noted it is very difficult to get an appointment with the psychiatrist on staff, who is available only once a week. This is especially alarming considering that CAPS is a mental health resources on campus that needs to be able to respond quickly to the needs of students.

Additionally, while the style of therapy offered at CAPS helps many students, there is a strong indication that a number of students would benefit from having more types of therapy offered, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Throughout the semester, The Clerk will be examining issues brought up by the survey in more depth, as well as other topics pertaining to mental well-being. If you are interested in writing an article for this series or in being interviewed, please contact Hannah Zigler (hzigler@haverford.edu) or Cece Burke (clburke@haverford.edu).