Opinion

Tuttleman makes gains

Tuttleman Counseling Services’ move will provide more space to help students.

Last week, the university announced that Tuttleman Counseling Services will be moving to 1700 N. Broad St. this summer, and gaining a 50 percent space increase for its staff. Student Health Services will also move to the building and will also gain space.

Parliament, the legislative branch of Temple Student Government, passed a resolution to suggest this move during their meeting on Jan. 30, asking the administration to take “any steps necessary” to lessen wait times for students seeking counseling.

In the past few years, Tuttleman has hired eight full-time staff and a few part-time positions to keep up with the increasing demand for counseling. In conjunction with the move, the center will be able to hire three more full-time staff by Fall 2017, John DiMino, the director of Tuttleman Counseling Services, told The Temple News earlier this month.

Last academic year, 3,334 students sought out help at Tuttleman, he said. Right now, the center struggles with seeing all those students on a walk-in or appointment basis, and wait times can be up to five weeks for a non-critical appointment.

“If you get people in within two weeks, there’s a 90 percent show rate, but if it’s longer than that, it goes down,” DiMino said.

We see this move to 1700 N. Broad as a long-overdue step toward prioritizing mental and physical health on Main Campus. The office is slated to open at the new location in January 2018 and include a larger waiting area and more private meeting spaces for counselors — a change necessary for staff to be able to see more students each day.

Student Health Services will also gain more space and a new total of 21 private exam rooms, so wait times can decrease and the number of patients seen per day can increase.

This change, in addition to Women Organized Against Rape’s new satellite office, is a welcome one. It seems the university is finally turning the calls for more services — for physical, mental and sexual health — into action.

TSG has stressed the need for Tuttleman services to be available to more students each day for years. Parliament, in the form of this resolution, has shown the needs of the student body, and it has worked.

Neither of these moves can happen, though, until the Board of Trustees approves them. They are slated to vote at their meeting March 14, and we hope they see the value in health care, too.

Alex Guida, president of  Active Minds, a student organization that aims to change stigmas about mental illness and mental health, said the move will allow for more collaboration between the organization and Tuttleman’s resources.

“People need to know there is no shame in seeking out mental health care,” he said.

These changes for the future of Student Health Services and Tuttleman Counseling Services are great steps to helping more students every day, but improving the lives and health of students at Temple should always be a priority of the administration.

We hope the Temple community continues to see mental and physical health as essential to a successful student experience.

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