Students attending any college can always relate to feeling alone when it comes having a Mental Illness. Whether you are 20 or 60, mental illness of any kind can have your mind in shambles. Mental illness ranges anywhere from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to anxiety and depression. Our college has a comforting outlet for students who need assistance, through the Campus Counseling Center. Personal Growth Workshops, Personal Counseling, and Mental Health Community Resources are only a few of the helpful resources found around our campus for students in need.
The Campus Counseling Center has many counselors ready and able to help students with any problem they may have. Sitting in the waiting room at the counselor center a student can take pamphlets and informative sheets on various mental illness issues. Within these pamphlets, there is helpful advice for anything from emergency contraception for rape survivors to anonymous HIV testing.
For students unaware, the Counseling center is located in the Ammerman Building on the second floor in room 209. When entering the counseling center students can let their guards down and prepare themselves to receive helpful advice. During homework and testing time, life may become difficult, but there are many workshops available to get students through their rough times. Workshops at the center range from time management, stress reduction, and test anxiety and are all at the student’s fingertips to explore.
I caught up with PhD and Dean of students Thomas S. Tyson to learn more about the type of counseling help available for students attending our college. “We provide free individual counseling for students, because we know how stressful college can be.” When it comes to advice on mental illness, Tyson and his team see the big picture of the issues each student has to deal with. Six counselors are available at the center for students seeking advice, and of these six counselors, three are trained to be mental health counselors. “We are objective, and our mission is to help the student. We are here to help, and we are always confidential.” Dr. Tyson is a licensed psychologist, and is available to students for any advice concerning mental illness.
It is understandable for students to feel afraid at first when it comes to expressing their emotions freely to a counselor, but once a student starts counseling they will feel relieved. Dr. Tyson reminded me if students don’t want to be a counseling center regular, they can always just stop by a few times when they need to, “We provide short-term personal counseling for students in need”. Students can also take advantage of the workshops available on campus concerning mental illnesses or issues. “Recently a student came in for advice concerning domestic violence, so I referred them to a workshop on healthy and non-healthy relationships,” Tyson commented. Attending a workshop can give students lots of information on an issue they may be confused or worried about.
The most common issues for students to be dealing with are relationship issues; whether the relationship is romantic or parental, this is still an ongoing issue for many college students. “Adults and students alike are always having issues with all types of relationships, and we know the added stress level for families, especially during the beginning of the semester. Our counseling center is here for all.” Students with panic disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, and suicidal thoughts can enter the counseling center with their guards down, these adults are genuine humans, and are licensed in helping you with your issue.
Students must come to grips with the fact, you are not alone. Thousands of humans deal with mental illnesses and mental issues every day, and the counseling center is always there to help our Suffolk students. The counseling center is available to students seeking mental illness advice Monday through Friday during the day, and making an appointment at the window in room 209 will get you started for counseling. Tyson leaves me with some inspiration for students, “Don’t be afraid, things can be a lot better than they seem to be, and we are here to help.”