One less Bergeron counselor to address student mental health

Only three full time counselors re- main at The Bergeron Wellness Center at St. Michael’s College following the recent departure of psychologist Nick Hunter, who left his position at the college in July to go into private practice.

“He loved working here and had been doing a small private practice on the side,” said Director of Personal

Counseling Kathleen Butts, adding that Hunter struggled with balancing his private practice and working at Bergeron so he decided to leave.

“At this point, the college has decided to go with a few part-time folks, rather than filling the full-time position,” Butts said. Part time counselors only provide individual and group counseling as opposed to full time counselors who provide outreach, consultations and more campus involvement in addition to counseling. All three part time counselors will begin working this week.

“We have been quite busy without Nick here. However, we have been working well as a team to minimize the impact on students,” Butts said.

“We tend to see about 20 percent of the student population in the course of an academic year,” said Butts. Each counselor has seen 55-65 students so far this year.

Some students have had to wait longer to be seen for counseling with the departure of Hunter, however in the event of a more urgent need Butts stated that counselors can usually figure out a way to meet with the student.

Walk-in hours are still available from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. every weekday so students with pressing needs can be seen that day or the next.