The Access and Support Centre is a tool students can use, but not quickly

The Access and Support Centre, or ASC as it’s known, offers everything from counselling to accessibility coaching – with one problem, it can take two weeks for an appointment.

To register with the Access and Support Centre, paperwork must be filled out but a student and their doctor.

Donna Edge-Bean, the director of the Access and Support Centre, says this contributes to the current two-week wait time for appointments.

“Your paperwork has to be reviewed by a counsellor, on top of their regular consoling duties with 14 hundred students.” Says Edge Bean, “So it can take up to a week for your paperwork to be processed. And then another week for there to be an open spot for the one-hour appointment.”

Last year there were 1,400 students who were registered with the ASC. There are already 1,200 students register this year, at only half-way through the first semester.

Accessibility coaching may take two weeks but the general coaching center in the Access and Support Centre, where students can go to talk to someone, has a much shorter wait time. However, counsellors there are not equipped to deal with complex cases immediately, according to Edge-Bean.

The department mainly deals with students who require additional help so they can do the same work as their peers. This can be both physical and mental, and long term or short term. They deal with students under stress and try to get them help to relieve it, or students with physical or mental disabilities that need accommodations.

The ASC is one of the many coaching services at Durham College, but covers the most areas of concern: stress, relationship trouble, physical and mental challenges.

There are other services on campus that can help too. The Campus Health Center for instance, is located in the Athletic Centre past the Marketplace, also has counsellors on hand. Though these counselors too have a wait time, they are more capable of dealing with more severe cases, such as serious suicidal thoughts and violent behaviour.

The Access and Support Centre is located in the B-wing of the Oshawa campus, right next to the Riot Radio station. There is also a secondary office on the Whitby campus. If you are trying to visit the ASC is open Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.