Counseling Center supports students

Maria Devito, Contributing Writer

One in four students at American colleges have a diagnosable mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Specifically, Eastern’s Counseling Center is offered as a health service to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. The staff includes an interim assistant director, three licensed professional clinical counselors and three master level interns.

Lindsay Wilson, a licensed clinical professional counselor, said the Counseling Center’s mission is to enhance psychological and emotional health while promoting the overall wellness of students through education, outreach, counseling services, consultation and crisis services.

Wilson said she believes the center can contribute greatly to student’s success in college and with future endeavors.

The center offers free sessions to any student currently enrolled in a course for credit. However, there is a no-show fee of $15 to any student who misses an appointment, shows up 20 minutes late or cancels 2 hours before an appointment. Wilson said this is because it denies others access to their services.

Most of the time the Counseling Center books several appointments that are highly sought by students.

Wilson said this can make it difficult for every student who needs counseling services to make an appointment. Some students might have to wait some time to book a session with a counselor.

Not only does the Counseling Center offer students individual counseling sessions, they also offer couple’s therapy and group sessions. Wilson said with these options, the center can provide a variety of treatment methods for students that allow them to pursue their specific personal and academic goals.

In addition to the therapy sessions offered at the center, there are several outreach programs such as sexual assault awareness, stress management and suicide awareness available throughout the entire school year.

“These outreach efforts are provided not only to students, but also to employees or others who may interact or have relationships with students,” Wilson said.

Along with students and employees being informed about their services, the Counseling Center staff members spend time during new student orientation days informing parents about their services and encouraging them to have their children seek their services if needed.

Wilson said the feedback the Counseling Center has received has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The vast majority of students have reported accomplishing goals, feeling more capable, feeling better prepared for their future, and feel that as a result of counseling they are more likely to stay in school,” Wilson said.

Maria Devito can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]