The Counseling and Mental Health Center has increased their prices for individual counseling and psychiatric sessions this semester.
Both services were originally priced at $5, but starting this fall, CHMC raised individual counseling sessions to $10 and psychiatric sessions to $15. Chris Brownson, Director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center, said he made the decision to raise prices after the center began to experience a tight budget.
“Like most services on campus, we had been facing budget issues in the last few years,” Brownson said. “We were faced with choosing between decreasing the services we provide, or increasing the prices of the individual services we offer.”
One of the students who attends counseling at the CMHC said that if the prices continue to increase, receiving counseling might cease to be an option for them.
“If the prices increase significantly in the coming years, I will most likely not continue therapy,” the student, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “As it is, the price increases make me question whether or not I should continue therapy this fall.”
Mathematics freshman Isabel Cachola, said she feels that price increases should not discourage students from utilizing CMHC services.
“I still believe the CMHC provides vital services to UT,” Cachola said. “Paying more for anything is never preferable, but counseling appointments at UT are still relatively low priced.”
Brownson said that even with the price increases, CMHC services are much cheaper than therapy services elsewhere. Outside of UT, rates can run anywhere from $75-$150 per session, and with insurance, copays can run anywhere from $25-$40, according to Brownson.
“Our prices are still far lower than what you would pay in the community,” Brownson said. “Cost is always an issue in people’s consideration on using services. But if cost becomes an issue, we make arrangements for students to pay fees over time in ways that fit their budget.”
According to Brownson, the center has no plans to further increase prices in the coming years. Brownson also said he thinks students should understand that price increases are not meant to bar students from getting the help they need.
“I was very sensitive in making the decision and carrying it out,” Brownson said. “It’s important for students to know that if they need help, all they have to do is call or come into our office. Many of our services, like group counseling sessions, are free. We have many provisions in place, like long-term payment plans, to make sure price increases are not an impediment on students seeking help.”