CPP Care Center extends hours to better support students

By Allison Larrimore and Julia Defoe, April 23, 2024

As of March 12, Cal Poly Pomona’s Care Center has extended its operation hours past its regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will be open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, except the last Thursday of finals week. 

This decision was aimed at giving students who may not have enough access to mental health services, whether that be due to their class schedules overlapping with the Care Center’s usual hours or a need for support during the evening.

Understaffing throughout the Counseling and Psychological Services organization overall has only added to the difficulty of meeting the student demand for more accessible mental health services. A Poly Post article published just shy of a year ago confirmed that the CAPS organization did not meet the standards of the International Accreditation of Counseling Services at that time.

Weston Prisbrey, the interim associate dean of students for the Wellbeing & Student Support Division, discussed the work that went into making this recent change starting back in spring 2023 and what sparked the motivation to extend hours for students.

“We’ve gotten feedback time and time again that it would be nice to have options available after hours because students are extremely busy with their class schedules,” said Prisbrey. “A lot of our students work multiple jobs in order to be able to afford Cal Poly Pomona, so there was a really big request for services being provided after hours.”

Other student support centers followed this initiative, including CAPS, the Disability Resource Center, Survivor Advocacy Services, Student Conduct and Integrity and the Bronco Wellness Center.

“All of those services are available in one place,” said Prisbrey. “A representative from any of those six departments will be present. When in doubt, go to the Care Center.”

Marysol Mendoza, director of the Care Center, hopes the extended hours will carry through future semesters.

“We wanted to create a hub for students to go meet whomever they wanted to meet within those different departments,” said Mendoza. “We really just wanted to create a more centralized location so that students are not having to go all over campus to get those services, especially after hours.”

The Care Center provides many support services such as individual and group therapy, crisis support, workshops and more for students in need. The center can be a place to start for students looking for essentials such as financial assistance, mental health counseling and housing resources. 

“We want to have students come in and feel welcome and be able to do whatever they need to do within the allotted time given,” said Mendoza. “We want to ensure that there is that sense of accessibility and belonging in those spaces.”

One of the benefits they offer is the Clothes Closet, which gives students the opportunity to choose up to eight pieces of professional clothing per semester at no cost.

Brenda Cruz, a business administration student and one of many who utilizes this service, has found it easy and accessible since she can just walk in and speak with a staff member to select from the closet.

“I don’t have the money to go clothes shopping very often, let alone buy expensive formal pieces like blazers and slacks, so the Clothes Closet enables me to own clothing items and accessories that help me look my best for job interviews and other formal gatherings,” said Cruz. “It’s something I wouldn’t be able to pull off otherwise, solely because I didn’t have the budget for it.”

The Care Center also recently hosted the Rediscover Wellness Fair the afternoon of April 8 outside Building 97, where various student support and wellness centers set up a table so students could speak with staff and learn more about the services available to them.

“Especially because midterms are happening right now and finals are coming up, we want to give information to all students on campus about different resources that can help,” said Iliana Rodriguez, program coordinator for the Care Center. “We’re really here to connect students to resources and teach them about their wellbeing and different ways we can cope with stressors that come up.”

Students interested in wellness support can visit the Care Center on the first floor of Building 97 on weekdays from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m., and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. More information about the services provided and events hosted by the center can be found on the Care Center website.

Feature image courtesy of Allison Larrimore

Verified by MonsterInsights