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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Activities & Organizations

SFAC: CAPS asks for additional funding to hire clinicians


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CAPS Director Norma Ngo presents to SFAC on Monday. | Kevin Portillo/The Cougar

Counseling and Psychological Services made its presentation to the Student Fees Advisory Committee Monday in hopes of acquiring funding to hire two licensed clinicians for fiscal year 2017.

CAPS requested a base augmentation of $153,509 to hire the clinicians, a psychological counselor and a psychologist, in addition to their base request of $1,654,373.

The current staff to student ratio is one to 3,259, and CAPS says this makes it difficult to see and treat students that need help.

“What we hear from students is that once they get in, they want to see us more frequently than we are able to see them,”  CAPS director Norma Ngo said in their presentation to SFAC. “Because we have to be able to get in as many students in as possible…this affects the quality of treatment. That is really a huge challenge.”

Ngo added that CAPS would ideally function best with 28 clinicians. She said that this is not an easy request, and that CAPS would be happy with just two more clinicians for FY17.

“I understand that’s a huge leap, so all we can ask you is to help us incrementally increase the staff,” Ngo said.

Other reasons why CAPS is asking for more clinicians is to help accommodate the UH Sugar Land location that recently hired a physician to help serve students there.

CAPS initiated limited services in Sugar Land in fall 2015, and Ngo said the base increase in funding would help increase its presence in Sugar Land.

The increase would also help fund services like Let’s Talk, a drop-in service that allows students to have an informal conversation with a professional therapist.

“We really want students to feel like they can come in and talk about anything small or large,” Ngo said. “It’s not because you’re not crazy that you’re coming in, it’s because you’re strong, you’re aware that you need some help.”

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