Alcohol sales to benefit mental health?


Purdue’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) needs more funding to meet the need of a rising rate of students seeking mental health care.

The undergraduate student government thinks selling alcohol at sporting events could help.

In 2015, CAPS saw a 15 percent increase from the previous year in the number of students who sought an appointment, Purdue Student Government President Mike Young said in a presentation to the Board of Trustees Friday.  About 100 students will be on a wait list in a given week.

The center has 17 full-time employees, which Young said is eight fewer staff members than the International Association of Counseling Services recommends.

Young proposed the university hire additional CAPS clinicians and up resources to meet those recommendations and reduce the wait time for appointments. He suggested to partially fund the $682,200 plan with alcohol sales from sporting events.

“A lot of these ideas, like the more off-the-wall things, kind of sound unfeasible or ridiculous at first,” he said, “but then you start to look at it and this could be a double-win for students, in my opinion.”

Purdue started allowing season ticket and VIP card holders to purchase beer and wine at the Ross-Ade Stadium’s South End Zone Patio in 2014, but fans currently can’t purchase or drink alcoholic beverages outside the gated area or private suites. The general public also can’t buy drinks at other sporting events.

Young said he got the idea from the University of Maryland’s student government, who successfully campaigned in 2015 for the school to sell alcohol at games and use the funds for student support services like mental health counseling. The school projected the sales would hit $500,000 annually.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said additional mental health resources are probably needed and he’ll take a look at the proposal.

“We’re going to take it very seriously,” he said.

 Other items discussed at the meeting

  • Purdue Graduate Student Government President Andrew Zeller proposed a 3.5 percent increase to all general fund teaching assistant lines for Fiscal Year 2017, the same increase implemented last year.
  • Board approved plans to move forward with a $6.25 million Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility.
  • University Senate Chairman Kirk Alter presented a resolution for collaborative decision-making with Purdue leaders while the University Senate and regional campus Faculty Senates are in session.
  • PSG President Mike Young also requested a permanent funding solution for Student Legal Services.


One Response

  1. Lets examine alcohol. Lets look at the number of deaths from car accidents attributed to alcohol. Despite the deaths, the loss of work, the ruining of homes, and the abuse, there is no federal ban on alcohol. The DEA thinks it is fine to deny chronic pain patients medication, but does nothing to curb the deaths and mayhem caused by alcohol consumption. With the DEA, everything is one sided. As the previous post by Steve states, a lot of pain patients, when they cannot get their meds, are turning to heroin. The DEA is simply shifting one problem to another problem without solving anything. Of course, this is the way government operates. It operates out of pure stupidity and greed. Think of all the money pouring into the DEA over their fight against illegal drugs. Since they have not been able to stop the drug trafficking, they have turned to denying sick people their meds. That is the easiest thing they can do. And, they can peddle their stories about how well they are doing and how they are helping the country. The sick are too weak to fight back.

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