Letter to the Editor

Thank you for the support of our counseling services. I would like to clarify a few points in this petition. Although, Health Services has faced budget cuts, much like many other departments on campus, the Student Affairs Administration worked diligently to come up with a plan to sustain the high quality medical and counseling care that we provide for our students.

Due to the dedication and commitment to our Saint Anselm College students, not only have we been able to maintain the same amount of counseling hours in our budget, we have increased the amount of 24-hour emergency on-call counseling available. This was achieved by our counselors agreeing to take a 10% cut in pay so that we preserved the services for our students.

As far as limiting the amount of counseling hours that are available for individual students, Health Services has always had a short-term counseling model in place. This is a model used by most colleges and universities because Health Services is not open year round, and counseling through the campus health center is not available in the summer or during academic breaks. Therefore, a student must have follow up at home.

The fee for Saint Anselm College Health Services is covered under the students’ room and board. We treat every student as an individual and make sure that they are receiving the best, and most accessible care available. We would never turn a student away who was in need of counseling or medical services. Mental Health Services would not be rescinded unless we were certain that the student and the counselor agreed upon a plan of care that the best practice is a collaborative referral without a financial or transportation barrier. 

I am very thankful for the support of our Counseling Services at Saint Anselm College and the thoughtful petition to allocate funds, but I feel that we must reflect that this may create a barrier to students seeking mental health in Health Services if they have a preconceived idea that we are not able to meet their needs. There needs to be a confidential discussion between the student and an experienced counselor. I ask that you trust that Saint Anselm College values the mental health of our community and that the Student Affairs Administrators are at the forefront of advocating for our student’s needs. I am happy to discuss any students’ health concerns privately in Health Services. My door is always open.


Maura Marshall, APRN, MSN

Director, Health Services

Saint Anselm College