Fordham’s Funding of CPS Is Insufficient


Winter can be associated with many positive feelings and experiences — from the excitement that comes from the first snowfall or the contentment in a cozy environment. However, winter can also usher in more acute feelings of depression and general sadness. The combination of longer nights, cold weather and less time spent outdoors can cause people to experience the “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 

The annual occurrence of winter blues comes on the heels of a general increase in mental health disorders, especially among college students. With one in three college students reporting cases of anxiety and depression as well as 88% of students believing there is a mental health crisis nationwide on college campuses, it is imperative that universities have robust mental health resources readily available for all students. 

Fordham’s own mental health resources available on campus do not meet the need and increasing demand for accessible care for students. With the knowledge of an increasing mental health crisis, the administration needs to act now to significantly improve the care offered to students. The university claims to value cura personalis, or care for the whole person, but does not live up to this espoused standard when it does not prioritize student mental health. 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) is not given enough funding to properly care for the entire student body. The CPS webpage details the services that they offer to the Fordham community, broken down into 11 different categories, ranging from crisis intervention to individual counseling and group sessions. CPS does not have the funding to help all students, and this is evident in the limited availability when it comes to booking appointments for extended individual therapy. With their current funding, CPS can only cater to the mental health needs of just a few lucky students. 

Another problem that points to a lack of funding is the referrals to off-campus providers section. For students who fall into this section, CPS will help find them an off-campus provider if it is requested, or if the students’ concerns fall outside the scope of services offered by CPS and they have resources to access those off-campus services. Directing students off campus for care can create even more obstacles and stressors that may prevent them from continuing to seek care. The stress of finding a provider that accepts their health insurance, the commute to the off-campus location and trying to fit sessions into their busy schedule can all be contributing factors for what may lead a student to not bother caring for their mental health. This is an unacceptable position to leave students in. Every student should have the ability to seek and receive mental health care on Fordham’s campus. 

Fordham also needs to take steps to make the language describing CPS services clearer. As mentioned before, the language surrounding the amount of slots for long-term individual therapy is extremely vague. There is not a precise number given as to how many students CPS can take on for long-term counseling, and such transparency on the part of CPS would benefit students as they would know how realistic it is to receive care on campus. 

Another area in which CPS could offer more transparency is how much therapy sessions cost a student, both in the short-term and long-term. There is no mention of a cost on the webpage which could create the impression that all services are free for students, but this could end up being a false assumption. Students need to be provided with all the information upfront so they can formulate an idea of the accessibility of mental health care at Fordham. 

The university needs to invest in mental health services now as the deterioration of college students’ mental health nationwide is an ever-growing field of research. Rates of mental health concerns have only grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating the mental health crisis that had already started to show on college campuses. It is well-overdue to increase institutional support for CPS as students recover from the pandemic and deal with mental health concerns in general. 

Fordham needs to put a concerted effort into improving the accessibility and transparency of mental health services on campus. Every student should have the ability to receive care on campus through CPS and have all the information they need to access that care. There is a mental health crisis raging nationwide, and Fordham needs to rise to the challenge and combat it.