EDITORIAL: Eastern: time to be proactive, not reactive


Rob Le Cates

Fidget toys like squishy balls and silly puddy are available to students to alleviate stress during therapy sessions at the Counseling Clinic.

Editorial Board

Mental health isn’t new, but you don’t need us to tell you this. The effort to break the stigma around mental health is slowly being spread across the nation. 

Eastern students aren’t the exception of the population around the world experiencing mental crises.

Mental health is sadly a taboo topic in some communities. Some people grow up with their parents or guardians repressing or dismissing their feelings and emotions. These feelings can haunt you, creating difficulties later in life. 

Many people go a portion of their life dealing with mental anguish instead of going to therapy, fearing they would be seen as “weak.” 

As people who have experienced mental health difficulties, we can say therapy doesn’t make you any less of a good person. It is very helpful.

Last spring, the Counseling Clinic experienced a waitlist of around 41 students, because of the limited resources and staffing.

Now, due to the demand for clinic services last semester, several new processes and ideas have popped up.

Jessica Milburn, the new associate director was hired over the summer and since her start, she has worked to implement a new system in the Counseling Center.

The clinic hopes to link waitlisted students with other resources so they aren’t left hanging and to provide an initial consultation session that allows the student to make a plan with a counselor.

With the new system, the Counseling Clinic has seen 200 students in the first month of classes this semester; seeing around 600 students each year, as reported on their website.

Students come to the clinic for a variety of issues like depression, anxiety and trauma.

In addition to the Counseling Clinic, organizations like the Student Success Center and the Office of Student Standards can provide students with guidance.

We at the Daily Eastern News believe Eastern’s administration, the Counseling Clinic and appropriate organizations are on the correct path to improving campus-wide mental health.

Several mental health and fun events were held on campus last year like seatings with Rachel the Therapy Dog and the Mental Health Pop-Up Days.

Events like these brought students out, potentially bettering their mental health and well-being.

We at the News are happy to see the presence and thought behind campus events, but want to see this level of support stay consistent.

If Eastern were to treat its students like a plant, which needs to be watered regularly and given the proper amount of sunlight, they will flourish.

As time passes and the plant doesn’t receive water, it will slowly wilt. To ensure the plant won’t die, continuous care and maintenance is required.

We hope to see Eastern remain proactive, caring for its plants, and not reactive by waiting until they start to wilt.