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SUNY’s mental-health network for students is expanding amid increased need

By Eric Reinhardt (


Upstate Medical University says SUNY’s mental-health network for students, adding five campuses by the end of 2020. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The mental-health services available to SUNY students is expanding to more campuses.

The network provides counseling and psychiatry services to 11 campuses and will expand to five more by the end of the year. Currently all service providers are based at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. SUNY Downstate is joining the network to provide services to students at the five new campuses.

Counting Upstate Medical and SUNY Downstate, the program serves 18 campuses in all, Upstate tells CNYBJ.

Clinical staff at Upstate currently provide services to students at SUNY schools that include Binghamton, Cobleskill, Fredonia, Morrisville, Nassau Community College, New Paltz, Onondaga Community College, Oneonta, Polytechnic Institute in Marcy and Albany, and Potsdam.

The five schools expected to join the network by the end of the year are being finalized, Upstate added.

Dr. Christopher Lucas launched the SUNY Student Tele-Counseling Network (SCTN) in January 2018 with four partner campuses. The network expanded to eight in the fall of 2018, to 10 in the fall of 2019, and to 11 just last month.

Upstate Medical University has seen the demand for services through the STCN continue to increase every year, with an even greater uptick since the pandemic, Lucas said. The breakdown of appointments are as follows: January to July 2018: 115 appointments; July 2018 to July 2019: 675 appointments; July 2019 to July 2020: 1,139 appointments.

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