I hope you had a restful winter break and were able to spend time with family and friends. I’m glad to see you back on campus for spring semester, albeit a day later than expected because of inclement weather. Please continue to be careful when walking, riding a bike and driving in icy conditions.
As 2017 came to a close, UT football ended the season on a high note, with a big win in the Texas Bowl. The Harry Ransom Center kicked off the new year by announcing the acquisition of legendary playwright Arthur Miller’s archive. And soon we’ll be celebrating the completion of Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin” at the Blanton Museum of Art, welcoming students and faculty members to the McCombs School’s Rowling Hall and dedicating the new Texas Tennis Center — and this is only the beginning of 2018 for our university.
Last semester, I heard from many students about the charges for counseling appointments at the Counseling and Mental Health Center. I am concerned that these charges have been a barrier for students seeking needed care. As a result of your feedback and our conversations, I have decided to reduce the cost of counseling and mental health services for all students.
From now on, the $10 charge for counseling sessions at the Counseling and Mental Health Center will be fully subsidized, which means there will be no charge to students. Furthermore, the current $15 charge for psychiatry services will be reduced to $10 per appointment, which is consistent with the charges for other medical appointments. These subsidies will be funded through the university’s partnership with ESPN on the Longhorn Network.
This new investment in the Counseling and Mental Health Center underscores a university-wide commitment to addressing the mental health of students. Mental health is not a peripheral issue — it touches every aspect of life and affects us all. Your psychological well-being is an essential part of your success — both in academics and in life.
If you are a student in need of assistance from a mental health professional, please contact CMHC as a first step.
I wish you success during the coming semester. For graduating students, these will be your final months on the Forty Acres — appreciate them because university commencement will be here soon. For others, the 2018 spring semester is another step toward earning a UT degree — keep the momentum going!
To all students, enjoy the new year. I can’t wait to see what you achieve in 2018.
Gregory L. Fenves