University should seek more multicultural counselors

Having multicultural competence is beneficial for both counselors and students as it will help better aid a diverse group of people. One study notes there is a plethora of European American counselors compared to races such as Latino/Latina, African American and Asian counselors. This could be concerning to a school with growing diversity for ethnic reasons. Multicultural competence is the ability for someone to help other people who have different cultures from their own.

A friend of mine who attends the University had suffered from depression. He had been raised to believe that mental health illnesses were not real. It wasn’t until he showed signs of suicidal tendencies that he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and received the help he needed. Counseling centers can help students become more aware of their services and pay more attention to the ways culture can restrict someone’s comfort in seeking help.

One study from the Journal of Multicultural Competence and Development found multiculturally competent counselors who helped Asian international students achieved higher ratings in trustworthiness and expertise. Multicultural competence could help students from international exchange programs. The adjustments to new cultures and environments than the ones they have grown into can be enriching; it can also become stressful and impact mental health. Situations such as these is where multicultural competence within counseling can better aid someone from a foreign country.

There are long lines for counselors at the University. The school must find new ways to enlarge the counseling center and provide faster care. Counselors who are multiculturally competent would provide more efficient counseling, hopefully reducing the amount of rescheduling and extra meetings that students would need. This way counselors can help students more quickly without compromising their treatment.

Maya is a junior in Psychology.

maya2@illinois.edu

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