Yeshiva University Counseling Center Reports Promising Growth
The Yeshiva University Counseling Center plays a vital role in the robust atmosphere of student life on campus. The center is comprised of eight full- and part-time therapists as well as one psychiatrist and two psychiatry residents. The center provides easily accessible psychological and psychiatric counseling to any student in need, at absolutely no charge. According to Counseling Center Director Dr. Yael Muskat and Associate Director Dr. Debra Alper, the center is showing promising growth in usage across the Beren and Wilf campuses, with numbers up 5-10 percent since 2010. For the last several years, approximately 22-25 percent of undergraduate students have used the Counseling Center for services, which is an increase from the 15-20 percent of the undergraduate student population that visited in 2010.
When asked about potential factors leading to this increase, Muskat suggested a number of possible factors, remarking that students “are often insightful and aware of their own needs, and are ready to seek the help that is available. More and more, students are shedding the old stigmas about therapy and mental health. Today’s YU student body is sophisticated. Students rightly view their mental health as another component of their overall well-being, and treat it as such.”
Muskat emphasized that the dedicated therapists and psychologists who staff the center are devoted to the wellbeing of the students, and want them to know of the center as a valuable resource. With various initiatives and a number of outreach programs — including tables, groups, workshops, and partnership with RAs and other student leaders — the staff have made great efforts over the years to make the center known and accessible to students. The center is also closely involved in the dynamics of student-led campus life, regularly coordinating activities and workshops with student run organizations such as Active Minds, a club dedicated the promotion of mental health.
SCW ‘15 alumna Rivka Lubin utilized the Counseling Center during her time on campus, and recalls passionately the benefit of receiving guidance and counseling to facilitate her personal success at Stern. “Dr. Yael Muskat was incredible. She was invested in my situation since I first walked into Stern and helped me more than I can describe… I also got so much help from Dr. Koren and to say thank you wouldn’t be enough to show how grateful I am,” said Lubin. She reflected that the Counseling Center was a crucial tool in maintaining emotional and mental wellbeing while facing the challenges of college life. Three years after Lubin’s graduation, it appears that the Counseling Center continues to be an accessible and important tool for the growing number of students who seek professional guidance during their college years.
Lubin’s advice to anyone who is struggling or considering seeking guidance is “to reach out — not for other people, but for yourself. If you notice that you don’t feel right, or that something is wrong, don’t stay silent… In order to succeed you need to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.” She noted that “it can be scary to admit you need help and to let others in on your most personal thoughts and emotions… but believe me, it can make all the difference.”
Dr. Muskat and all of the committed professionals who work at the Counseling Center want the students to know that the Center is intended to be both a tool and a refuge, and is there for anyone who needs it. “We want all students to know that we are here for them,” Muskat remarked. “We love the work we do at YU and are committed to the success of all our students. No problem is too big or too small. If a student is thinking about making an appointment but is unsure if counseling is the right step for them, we encourage them to call, email, or stop in to meet us.”
To contact the Beren or Wilf Counseling Center or set up an appointment, students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call [Beren: (646) 592-4210; Wilf: (646) 592-4200]. Locations of either campus’ Counseling Center facilities are located below. Both campuses’ centers are in operation Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. In the event of an emergency or crisis outside hours of operation, students are advised to contact emergency services by dialing 911, calling Hatzalah at (212) 230-1000 or calling campus security [Beren: (212) 340-7709; Wilf: (212) 960-5200].
Wilf Campus Counseling Center
500 West 185th Street
Furst Hall, Suite 520
Beren Campus Counseling Center
205 Lexington Avenue
(between East 32nd & East 33rd Streets)
Photo Caption: Beren Counseling Center
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University