Demand for mental health services on college campuses has increased nationwide over the past few years, and many universities have invested especially in group counseling options as they try to meet this rising demand. Georgetown University has followed this pattern by investing in valuable group therapy options.
With limited resources for individualized services, Georgetown’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services, an on-campus mental health resource, offers several opportunities for students to join therapy groups, support groups and workshops, according to Director of CAPS Phil Meilman.
This editorial board strongly supports CAPS’ current group counseling programs. Since these programs are important and currently more accessible than other campus mental health resources, the university could even consider investing further in expanding and publicizing therapy groups and workshops.
All mental health services on campus are important, and group therapy options are not the best fit for everyone seeking mental health resources. Funding for other mental health services like individual therapy should not decrease, and Georgetown should still work to supplement CAPS’ overall budget as soon as it can. Nevertheless, groups and workshops are important resources for many students and have the potential to help even more if expanded.
Therapy groups can provide students with a support network and a space for dialogue with peers experiencing similar mental health challenges, according to the American Psychological Association. For the spring 2020 semester, CAPS’ groups include four support groups, two interpersonal groups and three skill-building workshops.
Group therapy receives positive satisfaction ratings from clients and can result in the same amount of learning as in individual therapy, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.
Since therapy groups have proven to be beneficial nationwide, CAPS’ commitment to these services is important and could even be expanded, as therapy groups and workshops are more accessible than other CAPS services.
Whereas individual CAPS appointments are short term and cost $10 each, students may attend unlimited groups and workshops free of charge, Meilman wrote. Since groups are currently the most accessible option for long-term mental health services on campus, Georgetown should invest further in CAPS groups so that even more students can access these services.
Accessible group options are also important, as CAPS struggles to meet the rising demand for mental health services on campus. Demand for CAPS has increased so much that there is now a waitlist for students seeking individual services with nonurgent needs, according to Meilman.
Since individualized services cannot meet current demand at Georgetown, CAPS is encouraging many students to participate in therapy groups and workshops, Meilman wrote.
The lack of resources for individual services is a problem the university must prioritize by increasing CAPS’ total funding as soon as possible. CAPS groups are an important resource, however, for this period in which other services are inaccessible for many students seeking them.
Investing further in group services would allow the university to increase the capacity of mental health services with a minimal increase in cost while they work to establish more financial support for CAPS overall.
Further investments in group therapy could add a broader range of options for students seeking accessible mental health services by establishing groups for even more topics. CAPS is continually considering new ideas for group therapy subjects, according to Meilman. The university should offer CAPS support to invest in even more ideas so that these mental health services can reach as many students as possible.
CAPS’ current groups are important for students who are benefiting from the presence of free on-campus group mental health resources. While demand for mental health services on campus continues to exceed CAPS’ capacity, the university can consider immediately investing further in group counseling programs, as these are the most accessible mental health services on campus.
CAPS groups and workshops are necessary on Georgetown’s campus. The university should further support these programs by expanding their breadth and publicizing them to as many students as possible.
The Hoya’s editorial board is composed of six students and chaired by the opinion editor. Editorials reflect only the beliefs of a majority of the board and are not representative of The Hoya or any individual member of the board.