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CUNY needs more investment in mental health counselors — especially now

An issue creeping up on college students throughout this pandemic has been mental health. Now more than ever, students have been facing a whole new mix of emotions. The pandemic has truly taken an emotional toll on so many college students across the country. Students all over the country are dropping out, doing badly in classes, which is pushing them even farther away from the finish line of graduation. Mental health is no laughing matter, and is flipping college life upside down. Students are facing emotions they might have not ever felt in a lifetime: hopelessness, anxiety and depression are only a few of the many emotions sadly taking these hardworking students away from their studies. Because of this, there is a dire need for more mental health support within colleges. 

Currently, for every 2,300 CUNY students, there is just one trained mental health counselor, which is extremely disappointing. Students seem just like numbers, and there is no possible way one human can meet the mental health needs of 2,300 students. Even the proposed New Deal for CUNY legislation, will only cut this number to one counselor for every 1,000 students. Our counseling ratios are unacceptable. With recent statistics showing that over 40 percent of college students have been experiencing mental health issues, CUNY needs to do better. Mental health needs to be a priority and is just as much of a necessity as physical health. 

ToniAnn Ruggiero is a student at CUNY-John Jay College, and a Spring 2021 Young Advocate with YI-New York.