The Cook House transitioned to Telehealth remote counseling services due to COVID-19 last spring. Now, even with students back on campus, the same Telehealth services are being offered amidst the pandemic.
Michele Turner, USD staff counselor said telehealth allows the counselors at the Cook House to stay connected with the students while social distancing practices are in place on campus. She said there are pros and cons to Telehealth counseling.
“They give access to students who may not have been able to obtain services traditionally due to health reasons or distance,” Turner said. “(But) it can be hard for students to find a private space for sessions. At times, technology can be finicky, or there maybe internet connection issues.”
Turner said there was a waitlist last semester for counseling services at the Cook House, but right now the Cook House does not have a waitlist. She said they but will put one in place when they reach capacity.
Regardless of how the Cook House is offering counseling services, there are a finite number of counselors, Turner said, though the counselors will make efforts to serve all students.
“We do offer same-day appointments and group sessions to try and serve as many students as possible while they wait to engage in services,” Turner said.
Even after the shift to Telehealth, Turner said the Cook House is seeing more students.
“The trend over the past 5 or more years is that we see an increase in students seeking counseling,” Turner said. “Adding Telehealth services has added to that increase.”