Overbooked, over worked and unorganized: students' perceptions of Acadia's student Counselling Services
LE3 .A278 2018
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis focuses on Acadia students’ perceptions of the Student counselling services—through its service of individual counselling—and its ability to adequately treat the mental health of students. To identify students’ perceptions, quantitative methodology was used in the form of an online survey, where students assessed certain factors that acted as potential barriers to accessing the services. This included the organization of the services, whether stigma was present, and students’ general knowledge of when accessing the services was most appropriate (i.e.,mental health literacy). An open-ended question provided a qualitative approach to the survey and students had the option to provide their own thoughts and experiences about the services. To understand who was more likely to access the services, gender was examined as a social construct using a healthcare context and this provided a possible explanation to the gender disparity of Acadia students. This gender disparity was present throughout the statistical analyses with statistical significance in terms of a relationship existing between gender and access of the services. The students utilizing the services were identified as 80.2% female, 17% male, and 2.8% gender queer. When analyzing the open-ended survey responses, stigma and mental health literacy were not presented as barriers; however, students spoke of other factors that acted as barriers such as the perceived disorganization of the infrastructure, a lack of treatment options, unprofessional counsellors and staff members, a lack of privacy and confidentiality, and rurality of the space that limited outsourcing to other mental health services. The standpoints of students should be accounted for when developing policies surrounding Acadia’s Student Counselling Services.
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