Demand Better Mental Health Resources for Skidmore Students

Skidmore College is currently incapable of providing adequate mental health care. There are only three full-time psychologists at Skidmore to provide care for 2,500 students. The severe understaffing means that many students are not receiving the mental health care that we need. 

My name is Valerie and I am a student at Skidmore. Earlier in the year, I was dealing with a really difficult personal situation. Because the counseling center was unavailable to advise me for a week, I tried to handle the situation on my own.

The stress eventually resulted in a mental breakdown. I was absolutely hysterical - sobbing, shaking, and screaming to the point where campus safety arrived. They told me to call the on-call counselor, so I did. The counselor asked me if I was suicidal. When I replied "no," the counselor told me to make an appointment with the counseling center in 5-7 days, and hung up.

If the counseling center had drop-in hours so that I could have discussed the difficult situation I was in with someone, I would never have reached the breaking point. If the hotline was available for emergencies other than suicide, I might have been fine. But Skidmore College gave me no support whatsoever, so I fell into a depressed state. When I finally received an appointment ten days too late and told my counselor how upset I was about the lack of help I had received, the response was "Well, you handled it."

My name is Alexandra, and I have a history of severe anxiety. In the first semester of my freshman year at Skidmore, I was experiencing terrible panic attacks during my classes. A couple of times I even had to skip a class out of fear that an attack would be triggered. 

One afternoon I was in my ballet class when the biggest anxiety attack I had ever experienced overcame me. I immediately left, sobbing from defeat, panic, and loss of control. I called my dad who suggested that I see someone at the counseling center for immediate attention. I walked into the center in tears, shaking, and short of breath. When I asked the receptionist to see someone for help, she asked if I was suicidal. I answered that I was not, and she said that she was unable to provide me with immediate care because I was not suicidal. She suggested that I make an appointment for a week's time.

Not being able to get an appointment for a week tripled my panic because I was afraid I would not be able to calm down. I left the counseling center feeling afraid and alone. I didn't want to bother my friends, go to any of my other classes, or focus on my homework. It took me three hours to calm down and a week to push past the embarrassment. I did not end up going back to the counseling center later because by that point my anxiety attack was over.  

Unfortunately, we are not the only ones who have been denied proper mental health help at Skidmore. Students need immediate help for mental health emergencies unrelated to suicide, and Skidmore currently provides no assistance for these situations. We are demanding that the college administrators make the following changes to the school's mental health services:

  • Employ another full time psychologist (four total)
  • Employ a crisis counselor to assist students who cannot wait to receive counseling
  • Create a 24 hour hotline for students with panic disorders and other urgent mental health concerns that Skidmore does not currently acknowledge. 

Please sign this petition to help us ensure that every Skidmore student gets the timely mental health care that they need.

Skidmore College is currently incapable of providing adequate mental health care. There are only three full-time psychologists at Skidmore to provide care for 2,500 students. The severe understaffing means that many students are not receiving the mental health care that they need. 

Valerie is a student at Skidmore. Earlier in the year, was dealing with a really difficult personal situation. Because the counseling center was unavailable to advise her for a week, she tried to handle the situation on her own. 

The stress eventually resulted in a mental breakdown. She was absolutely hysterical - sobbing, shaking, and screaming to the point where campus safety arrived. They told her to call the on-call counselor, so she did. The counselor asked her if she was suicidal. When she replied "no," the counselor told her to make an appointment with the counseling center in 5-7 days, and hung up. 

If the counseling center had drop-in hours so that she could have discussed her difficult situation with someone, she would never have reached the breaking point. If the hotline was available for emergencies other than suicide, she might have been fine. Instead, Skidmore College gave her no support whatsoever, so she fell into a depressed state. When she finally received an appointment ten days too late and told her counselor how upset she was about the lack of help she received, the response was "Well, you handled it."

Alexandra has a history of severe anxiety. In the first semester of her freshman year at Skidmore, she was experiencing terrible panic attacks during classes. A couple of times she even had to skip a class out of fear that an attack would be triggered. 

One afternoon she was in her ballet class when the biggest anxiety attack she had ever experienced overcame her. She immediately left, sobbing from defeat, panic, and loss of control. She called her dad who suggested that she see someone at the counseling center for immediate attention. She walked into the center in tears, shaking, and short of breath. When Alexandra asked the receptionist to see someone for help, the receptionist asked if she was suicidal. Alexandra answered that she was not. The receptionist said that she was unable to provide Alexandra with immediate care because she was not suicidal. She suggested that Alexandra make an appointment for a week's time. 

Not being able to get an appointment for a week tripled Alexandra's panic because she was afraid she would not be able to calm down. She left the counseling center feeling afraid and alone. She didn't want to bother her friends, go to any of her other classes, or focus on her homework. It took Alexandra three hours to calm down and a week to push past the embarrassment. She did not end up going back to the counseling center later because by that point her anxiety attack was over.  


Unfortunately, these are not the only students who have been denied proper mental health help at Skidmore. Students need immediate help for mental health emergencies unrelated to suicide, and Skidmore currently provides no assistance for these situations. We are demanding that you make the following changes to the school's mental health services:



  • Employ another full time psychologist (four total)

  • Employ a crisis counselor to assist students who cannot wait to receive counseling

  • Create a 24 hour hotline for students with panic disorders and other urgent mental health concerns that Skidmore does not currently acknowledge. 


Please adopt these measures to ensure that every Skidmore student gets the timely mental health care that they need.

Update #22 years ago
We have victory! On May 3rd, students held a protest on Skidmore's Case Green and then delivered the petition to Skidmore's President Glotzbach. Now, thanks to the support of over 51,000 Care2 members, all Skidmore students in crisis will get the mental health care they need.
Update #12 years ago
Please join us for a demonstration and petition delivery on May 3rd at 1pm. Together we will form a chain of solidarity on Skidmore College's Case Green to show that we are all connected in our fight for better mental healthcare. Then we will walk together to Skidmore President Glotzbach's office to deliver the petition. RSVP now!
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