UMD Adding Two Counselors To Mental Health Care Team

UMD students followed the model at the Twin Cities campus to seek the funding.

DULUTH, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has more than 11,000 students on campus. At times there’s a long wait for students seeking assistance with mental health needs.

After two years of pushing for funding UMD will now be adding two new counselors to its staff.

The school learned it’s staff of five therapists and one counselor just wasn’t enough for students.

Life as a college student can be challenging at times dealing with family or personal relationships, that can have an effect on school performance.

So the UMD Board of Regents approved the new counselor hires to help ease that burden for students.

“Mental health is becoming more and more prevalent,” said Student Body President Mike Kenyanya. “Maybe we’re seeing it more because people are understanding that it’s ok to talk about these things and people are more comfortable sharing that they’re going through stuff.”

With the ratio of students higher than the number of counselors available a limit of 12 yearly counseling sessions per student was implemented last year.

The push for more counselors was a multi-year joint effort by Student Government and the Health Services Office.

“We’re excited about being able to expand both our ability to see students on a one-on-one basis” said Counseling Director Jean Baribeau-Thoennes. “Also to be able to do more outreach to students, perhaps add on additional groups, skilled groups.”

The plan is to have both counselors starting by the beginning of the Spring semester.

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