Are students taking advantage of the counseling and psychological services on campus?

Stress and anxiety are emotions that many college students experience. More students are developing these emotions during their first year of college.

Counseling and psychological services bulletin board outside the office with different resources. Photo by America Lopez-Santiago 

On the first day of classes, professors go through their syllabus, which includes a section discussing the counseling services. Some students usually zone out when talking about counseling services on campus. The reason they zone out is that they want to leave the class and explore campus, which makes sense. Though students should take account of the resources that are available on campus to help them deal with issues they are going through. Later on in the year, more and more students start to get stressed out with the amount of work they have to do.

A portion of students do not feel that they need any sort of counseling and therapy is for issues much more significant than being stressed. Here at Cabrini, the counselors do not care about how big or small one’s problem is when helping a student. The most important goal for them is to make sure students are getting help.

“The number of students who have come to CAPS, counseling and psychological services, have been increasing every year in recent years, so we are very busy. That being said, I’m also pretty certain that many students on campus could benefit from engaging in counseling services that might not be using them,”Alissa Brown, director of counseling and psychological services, said.  “So I think both of those things are true that students are using our services, but there are probably more that could also benefit.”

Books to help cope with different mental health issues. Photo by America Lopez-Santiago

Not only does campus have counseling and psychological services, but there is also a new club for students intrested in mental health issues. Having the two different options is useful for the students because some may feel better telling a professional what they are going through. While other students might feel more comfortable talking to peers about their issues because they might be dealing with similar problems. People are different, and they might use various resources to deal with different issues.

“Some people feel like they want to try to cope with things on their own. People have difficulty asking for help. Some students may see counseling as a sign that they are not strong enough to cope with things on their own,” Brown said. “What we hope people realize is that everyone can benefit from counseling in different times in their life and it takes a lot of courage to say ‘Hey this is something that I can use help in and learning new strategies or away to cope with things.’ Then being able to then use then from that point forward use those skills in their life in order to feel better or perform better whether it’s academic or in their personal relationships.” 

Counseling and psychological services office in Room 174, Grace Hall. Photo by America Lopez-Santiago 

Students should not feel ashamed of using the services that are on campus. Everyone’s mental health is more important than one’s self-esteem. For some people, it might be easier said than done, but students should try to get help before things get out of hand. 

“I think students do mask it because it is hard and again there is a certain level of vulnerability to say ‘Oh I’m really struggling’ or ‘ I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to begin.’ That’s hard for people to say, you don’t know how your peers are going to respond to getting counseling. Everyone needs help at least once,” Dr. Maya Gordon, associate professor of psychology, said.

Counseling and Psychological Services is located in Grace Hall, room 174. They are available Monday- Friday 9 am-4 pm by scheduled appointment and offer emergency walk-ins Monday- Friday noon-1 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment contact them at (610)902-8561.