Save money and sanity with counseling

The vast majority of mental disorders are treatable, or at the very least can be made more manageable with professional advice and support.

So Butler University’s community needs to take advantage of the amazing service that is provided for them.

Only 36 percent of those with mental disorders receive counseling, reports the National Institute of Mental Health.

Among Butler students, that number drops to 8 percent—whether they have disorders or not.

The American Counseling Association estimates that the average counseling session costs each patient $65. The ACA does not release data on the number of sessions that patients undergo, because every case is different.

But for the purpose of this article, assume that the average number of visits is relatively low and that all issues are resolved with 10 weeks.

Hypothetically, Butler’s free counseling program would save each patient $650.

26.2 percent of American adults suffer from some form of mental disorders on a yearly basis, the NIMH reports; over a lifetime, that increases to 46.4 percent.

A “mental disorder” is a relatively broad term, but all of them affect the lives of their victims—and they are real.

If the ratio holds true for this campus, then there are roughly 1300 people associated with the campus who have mental disorders and they’d end up spending a combined $845,000 on therapy.

In other words, the counseling services are an immensely good bargain for the members of the community.

For whatever it’s worth, I am a satisfied “customer” of the counseling service on campus.

Two years ago, I would never have put my thoughts on display before the whole of the university—just inflicted them on my friends.

So you have them to thank for this piece.

It’s also worth mentioning that counseling can benefit everyone, not just those with recognized mental disorders. And, again, it’s free. The only investment you make is with time. If it’s not a benefit, stop going.

But in the meantime, you could make some amazing self-discoveries, overcome boundaries you weren’t aware of and just generally improve your self-image.

That sounds like something that should be worth more than $65 a week, and it’s priced even lower: free.

That fact can’t be repeated enough.

Sixty-four percent of Americans with disorders don’t use counseling services; 92 percent of Bulldogs don’t either.

In 2011, a lot of people still think that they’re just being whiny, that they can “tough it out” and that nothing is really wrong with them.

Chances are that any given adult doesn’t have a disorder.

Almost everyone vents to his or her friends and family, and that’s healthy. Giving voice to thoughts and emotions helps humans deal with them maturely and rationally. Venting to a counselor has two major benefits: it’s absolutely confidential, and they’re a captive audience.

The counseling staff gets paid to listen to you. They’ve been trained to offer professional advice. They also got involved in counseling because they sincerely care about people, and because they’re good listeners to boot.

Did I mention its free?

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