Development of the Wellness Center decreases wait times, expands group therapy

August 29, 2016

Bradley Umpleby

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     Situations, no matter how crucial or insignificant, can arise, causing us to feel stressed, anxious or misplaced. So, when we experience these issues, we should have someone to turn to for support.

     Wait times for Mental Health Services, a branch of UCCS Health Services, are improving this semester to accommodate students if they need immediate help.

     The longest wait time was up to two weeks, with 42 people waiting, according to Benek Atayli, director of Mental Health Services.

     Mental Health Services will provide new group services for students who call within 48 hours.

     “This year, we’re going to start an initial group that is open to whoever called and wants services, so they

can start immediately. We’re going to try to eliminate wait times,” said Atayli.

      She added that the 48 hour screenings and services are unheard of in other communities, where sometimes it could take one to three months to see someone after making the call.

     The cost for each student per session is $15.

     Health Services is also going to expand the number of groups in group therapy from three groups, to six to eight running groups this fall, according to Cathryn Calvert, director of Clinical Training.

     One of these added groups is a wait list group designed to give students someone to talk to about options and therapy.

     “If we get 100 people coming in that we didn’t expect, we just want to be prepared and make sure we have an opportunity to give them something that will help them if they’re waiting to be seen,” said Calvert.

     Moving from Main Hall to the Wellness Center at the Rec Center has also been beneficial for alleviating wait times for Health Services.

     “In Main Hall, we had limited number of rooms we could use at one time. Now, we’ve doubled that capacity, so we can get people in and out much faster because of the increased number of rooms,” said Atayli.

     Another development to the Wellness Center is two part-time dietitians, as opposed to last semester, where they only had one dietitian. These dietitian services provide their clients quick access to a diet instructor.

     “These dietitians will be here approximately 10 hours a week, providing services not only to our students, but also to helping us with specific populations, like our eating disorder clients,” said Calvert.

     More information on appointments and mental health screenings can be found at