If you try to search for mental health resources from Wake Forest’s Counseling Center website, “404 Page Not Found” is likely the answer. Under the “Help Yourself” heading on the Counseling Center’s website, the center lists multiple online resources for students.
Of the links provided, 43% are broken or do not exist.
The Report made multiple inquiries through email and in-person visits to the Counseling Center for a brief interview about general scheduling, staffing, booking processes, and student resources. The Counseling Center failed to provide any comment.
During the pandemic, over 545 students signed a petition to increase the Counseling Center funding after the administration decided to decrease funding and remove a staff counselor. Given that the pandemic was a precarious situation for many, this decision was understandably questionable.
The Report interviewed Lilli Carlton, a senior at Wake Forest University. She discussed her and her peers’ increased stress from the pandemic, as well as her individual experiences with the Counseling Center.
“My friends and I were depressed… Being isolated was awful. Just living in a dorm all the time, I know everyone had to go through it and it was just collective trauma to the point where we probably needed more funding and more counselors. We got less.”
Lilli reached out to the Counseling Center, specifically a counselor she was familiar with, when faced with a panic attack. The counselor advised Lilli “to exercise.” However, Lilli struggles with an eating disorder, which the counselor was aware of. She was only able to meet with the counselor for fifteen minutes.
Lilli further noted that the counselor appeared stressed, as if she was overbooked with other appointments.
The Old Gold and Black reported that, in October 2020, the “Counseling Center was understaffed at 75% of work capacity.” In April 2021, OGB reported that two additional counselors were laid off, adding to the workload of the existing staff.
The Counseling Center states that only “short-term individual counseling is available.” The Report is continuing to investigate the Counseling Center’s budget cuts and hope to receive comments from them in the future.