If you’ve walked into Gannett recently, you may have noticed something new, other than the usual hordes of crying students. Halloween decorations are everywhere, from orange and black ribbons to skulls and pumpkins. They are festive and seasonal, but also serve a brilliant dual purpose: to scare people away from making CAPS appointments.
“We’ve tried everything to solve the mental health crisis and fix the problem of overbooking. We gave out free plants. We told people to go to EARS. Last semester, we even hired three new therapists. That’s right, three. And yet the problem persisted. Scary decor was the only way we could bring some order back into the system” said the director of Cornell Health on Monday.
This new initiative will hopefully reduce appointments by as much as 20 percent. Only those who truly need the help will brave the spooky skeletons to go to their annual therapist visit. Additionally, anyone who calls Gannett will now be greeted with a horrible screeching sound, as well as a notification that the call is coming from inside their house. This is so shocking that they won’t even realize that their appointment was booked two months away.
For students who actually make it to the building, the decorations will also inspire some positivity with their uplifting messages. The Keep Calm and Scary On signs add a serene atmosphere to the waiting room, which reduces anxiety. Jack o lanterns are a reminder to always smile no matter what happens. Take notice, kids – depression isn’t real.
Cornell Health’s lead physician consultant, Dr. Greg Myers, wants to take this even further. “There’s no reason this shouldn’t be a year round thing” he said. “Why are we always wearing those silly blue masks for flu season? We should be wearing a Ghostface mask instead. The more students we can keep out of here, the better.”
This is truly a step in the right direction for the university.