Monsour Requests Increased Funding

Seeking to improve and expand its services, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Service has requested more funding from the Committee of Deans and is waiting for the request to be approved by the presidents of the Claremont Colleges. 

According to an email to TSL from Monsour Director Gary DeGroot, Monsour has requested funding for two full-time psychologists for the 2014-2015 school year. Monsour has already received funding for a crisis therapist position for the 2014-2015 school year.

DeGroot said that the center is requesting more funding to accommodate an increase in the number of students seen at Monsour and to reduce wait time for appointments. He also noted that with more staffing, clients can have more of a variety of therapists from which to choose. 

Megan Petersen SC '15 wrote in an email to TSL that additional staff would greatly improve Monsour. 

“Monsour needs to hire more fully-certified therapists to provide consistent, long-term care for students,” Petersen wrote. “They need to have the resources to remove the session limit currently instated or at least raise the limit substantially so that students can see a therapist as frequently as they need to.”

Petersen added that when she sought counseling at Monsour, she did not feel like she was taken as seriously as she should have been.

"They really need to provide care that students need on a case-by-case basis—that is, if a student is very seriously depressed, they cannot treat it the same as someone who is situationally stressed out, which is what happened to me," she wrote.

In a statement to TSL, students from the Disability, Illness, and Difference Alliance agreed that funding should be invested to provide students with immediate support by having shorter wait times. However, they also wrote that they would like to see the funding invested in long-term support, not just crisis management.

“Countless students have been told that Monsour doesn’t have the resources to provide them long-term care and are subsequently forced to either pay for an outside therapist or stop getting help because they cannot afford the high cost of therapy sessions,” they wrote.

DeGroot mentioned that in addition to increasing the staff, funding could provide more workshops around areas of stress reduction, healthy relationships, and adjusting to college, among other possible programming.

DeGroot declined to disclose how much funding Monsour is requesting.

“Since the majority of the funding is related to the salary of our psychologists, it would be inappropriate to disclose the salary of any staff,” DeGroot wrote.

DeGroot added that funding would also cover health benefits for staff, office expenses, equipment, operation costs, and professional development.