As the parent of two Claremont College students (Scripps College class of 2017 and Pitzer College class of 2016), I read the articles in your May 2 edition pertaining to the 5Cs’ mental health care crisis with great interest and a profound sense of alarm and sorrow.
Our eldest daughter, the one at Pitzer, told me about the difficulty she had making an appointment to see a psychiatrist at Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services for a medication check and prescription refill for her anxiety meds. She also said that trying to see a campus therapist to work through an anxiety attack presented overwhelming obstacles that left her feeling discouraged. As a concerned, tuition-paying parent, I feel outraged that students are deprived of the mental health services they so desperately need to thrive in a rigorous, often stressful campus environment.
Life-threatening psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia often first manifest themselves during the college and grad school years. How can the 5C administration not allocate the resources necessary to provide adequate, potentially life-saving services to address such a basic need? Campus administrators should be ashamed of themselves for not making this their utmost budget priority.
I was particularly disturbed by the side-by-side articles on page 3—one highlighting the major construction projects taking place at Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer, Pomona College, and Scripps, and the other about the Monsour Counseling Center’s request for increased funding. The juxtaposition of these two articles speaks volumes about the problems plaguing higher education. While I’m sure that Scripps’ spiffy new faculty offices, Pitzer’s upgraded swimming pool, and CMC’s monolithic athletic complex will all add cachet to their schools’ appeal, what about the fundamental needs of the students themselves?
Columnist & Contributing Writer, San Diego Jewish Journal