Yale to expand mental health services to meet rising student need
Doctor Paul Genecin, the director of Yale Health, recently provided students with an update on the services provided by Mental Health and Counseling (MHC), which is led by Dr. Lorraine Siggins.
Genecin said that MHC would be substantially expanding its capacity through the addition of four new clinicians, including three new psychiatrists. The new staff will join Yale Health this summer.
“In addition to enlarging our clinician staff, MHC will meet the growing need for services by continuing to refer some patients to community psychologists and clinical social workers through the Yale Magellan Mental Health network,” Genecin said. “Students may access this network of psychotherapists by referral from Yale Health.”
Genecin said the steps taken by Yale Health were due to the continuing increase in student demand for mental health services. The number of students seeking appointments at MHC increased by 11% in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“By the end of this year, MHC will have provided care to more than 3,400 students, representing a 15% increase compared with last year,” Genecin noted. “Yale’s increases are part of a national trend; counseling centers at colleges and universities across the country are experiencing a similar pattern of rising demand — in part for the good reason that there is decreasing stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment.”
Yale Health began to use the Magellan Mental Health network in a pilot program last fall as student utilization surged.
“Dramatically improved waiting times resulted,” Genecin said, leading to the decision to continue to refer some patients to the network.
Genecin said he and Siggins would continue to work with two student advisory committees, one for Yale College and one for graduate and professional schools, to enhance mental health services and improve communications with students.
Yale students may utilize MHC, and all primary care services, regardless of whether they have Yale Health Plan insurance coverage.
Genecin referred students to the website at Yale Health with full information on available services.