Starting Semester: Fall 2022
Assigned: Yes
Location: Atlanta

Georgia tech Counseling Center

Client Profile

The Counseling Center educates students for life by providing a variety of services and programs that are consistent and consonant with the strategic plan goals of the Institution and the Division of Student Engagement and Well-Being. Services include short-term individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, testing and assessment, crisis intervention, referral services, as well as outreach programming, and consultation for faculty and staff, family and friends of Georgia Tech students. Through our range of services, the Georgia Tech Counseling Center contributes to overall student success and the Institute's core vision to define the technological research university of the 21st century and educate the leaders of a technologically driven world. CARE is the initial resource for mental health support at Georgia Tech. Students seeking assistance from the Counseling Center or Stamps Psychiatry need to visit CARE first for a primary assessment and referral to on and off campus mental health and well-being resources.

Project Description

Campus Mental Health Services Project Description Currently a tremendous systems problem in collegiate mental health can be called the flow and volume problem. The core of the problem is essentially that demand exceeds supply at critical times of the semester, creating bottlenecks, service delays, and customer dissatisfaction. Both the GTCC (Georgia Tech Counseling Center) and CARE (Center for Assessment, Referral and Education) have systemic problems of this type. These problems not only create service delays, but they also devalue our brand with stakeholders. In the current model CARE and the Counseling Center are two separate and closely collaborating units. An effort is underway to merge the units into a new Center for Mental Health Care & Resources. The units will maintain their respective physical spaces and staff, although select staff are likely to variably rotate between the two spaces to fill different service needs. Students will continue to present to CARE to be triaged and referred for a variety of on-campus and off-campus services. CARE will remain the point of entr e for service into the Center for Mental Health Care & Resources or for referral off-campus. Significant problems with process flow in CARE include: * Heavy (sometimes overwhelming) phone call volume. * Insufficient staffing (Director, 6 clinical case managers, 1 administrative assistant) to schedule same-day and walk-in appointments, leading to appointment delays of up to one week for non-urgent students. * Insufficient staffing to accommodate crises and urgent referrals on top of scheduled appointments. Significant problems with process flow in the GTCC include: * Limited predictive ability around how many new client openings will be needed each week of the semester. * Limited predictive ability to know how many temporary staff will be needed during high demands times in order to meet client service need. Some questions for the Project Team to consider include: 1. What staffing pattern will allow CARE to accommodate same day scheduled and walk-in clients? 2. What (staggered) working schedule best accommodates the high-volume hours of 10am-12pm, and 2pm-4pm in CARE? 3. What number of permanent and temporary part-time staff are needed in the GTCC to meet client demand? 4. What is the range of openings needed each week of the semester to serve on-campus referrals? a. Prediction is difficult because client start, stop, and length of treatment times are variable. CARE began operating in August 2019 and aggregate data is available to assist in looking at demand, supply, and flow processes for CARE. A previous project with the Supply Chain Class is also available. GTCC data is available for that same timeframe. Data sources include multiple forms of de-identified, aggregated data culled from the Electronic Health Record, and the administrative staff records for CARE phone call time and volume each day. The Electronic Health Record can provide multiple types of numerics and graphs to assist with predictive planning.


Teams with skills in the areas of health and humanitarian systems, applied probability and simulation, data science and statistics, supply chain engineering, and optimization may be particularly interested in this project.