As mental health needs rise, Davenport University increases ease of access and availability to free, confidential counseling for students on all campuses

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – October 5, 2020) – In response to a growing need for mental health services among college students, Davenport University has expanded its mental health offerings with Pine Rest to include free, confidential counseling to students – including same-day support – on all campuses throughout Michigan.

Pine Rest is offering fall semester counseling exclusively through teletherapy. The university expects onsite appointments on the Lettinga Campus to resume in January.

Davenport University has seen an increase in student demand for counseling services during the past few years, in line with a national trend. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University, between the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2015, demand for campus counseling nationally grew at five to six times the pace of enrollment.

In addition, pre-pandemic CDC data shows rising levels of depression and anxiety among 15-to-24-year-olds has contributed to a 51% increase in suicide rates in this age group over the past 10 years.

“In response to student needs, we’re launching a new partnership with Pine Rest to offer all Davenport University students – regardless of their home campus – one-on-one confidential counseling services free of charge,” said Dr. Richard Pappas, president of Davenport University.

“We want students to reach out for support if they are feeling overwhelmed. The day-to-day stresses of college life can be challenging, and the current pandemic has thrust students into uncharted school, home and work life situations.”

Pine Rest clinicians will see students in-person at the W.A. Lettinga Campus once social distancing requirements are lifted. Currently, Pine Rest serves students through TeleTherapy at Lettinga and all other campus locations.

During this time of COVID-19, many students are faced with additional stress and uncertainty.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a portion of its website devoted to mental health, saying “Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.”

While these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC says, “Coping with stress in a healthy way can make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.”

Pine Rest clinicians will provide assessment and treatment services to students in a variety of ways, including therapy at all university locations, drop-in appointments at the W.A. Lettinga Campus, student trainings, support groups and group therapy, consultation and referral services and crisis response and support.

In addition to counseling, Pine Rest online resources include a ‘Coping tips from Clinicians’ feature. Articles and videos in this portion of Pine Rest website address various topics including parenting during COVID-19, stress management tips and setting realistic expectations during challenging times.

Internally, Davenport’s Center for Campus Life Student Affairs team is available to assist students in times of unplanned crisis which impact academic progress. Examples include an unexpected death in the family, an unforeseen short-term illness, or other life-stressors that impact student success.

Davenport also has Registered Student Organizations focused on mental wellbeing, a meditation/sensory room available during exam week and yoga events during the year. Students can reach out at campus.life@davenport.edu for non-counseling support.

Students with a mental health crisis or that are in need of immediate medical attention should call 911.

About Davenport University:
Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving about 7,500 students at campuses across Michigan and online. With tuition among the lowest of all private universities in the state, Davenport provides high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience and more than 60 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers in business, technology, health professions and urban education. More information is available at davenport.edu.

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