A great deal. After an extensive internal and external review, the College added counseling services to its student health services. Now called Student Health and Counseling Services, the department makes mental health services more accessible to students; facilitates better communication and coordination among mental health providers, parents, faculty, and staff about students who are experiencing emotional difficulties; and aligns Grinnell College with best practices in college mental health.
The department employs two full-time psychologists and is hiring a third. Meanwhile several part-time therapists help meet the demand for services, including individual counseling, group counseling and support, urgent walk-in and/or phone consultation, and prevention and outreach programming. As part of the Division of Student Affairs, the counselors also participate in a range of campus initiatives and committees.
In spring 2011, Student Health and Counseling Services added access to three hours per week of on campus psychiatric services (including psychiatric evaluation and medication management) through a contract with the Mental Health Clinic of Tama County. All of our counseling and mental health services are free to Grinnell students. In order to best serve the needs of a diverse student body, we use a generalist, short-term therapy model. For students in need of longer-term therapy, of more specialized mental health treatment, and/or of psychological testing, we refer to our network of community providers in Grinnell and in the greater Des Moines and Iowa City areas.