Counseling and Consulting Services hires three full-time counselors
Counseling and Consulting Services is hiring new staff to meet growing demand. Collegiate archive photo.
TESSA FACKRELL | STAFF JOURNALIST | [email protected]
There are now three new counselors at Counseling and Consultation Services, CCS, to help meet the growing needs of students. Located in the Health and Recreation Center, the CCS has seen an influx of students in recent years, resulting in waiting periods for applicants for an appointment.
CCS Director Keith Magnus has hired the new counselors and said he wants to change the discourse on campus that counseling services are not available for practical use by students.
“My priority is definitely access,” Magnus said. “If a student is having difficulty, I don’t want them to feel like they can’t access our service. “
Magnus said that since joining 20 years ago, CCS has always had three advisers. They recently hired three more counselors who started on August 9. There is also a temporary advisor who will start in October.
According to Magnus, CCS usage has grown exponentially over the past two years, resulting in the need for more advisors.
“It’s nationwide, counseling centers across the country are seeing an increase, everyone’s graph is increasing,” Magnus said. “… Students are more likely to use our service because I think we’ve done a good job prioritizing wellness and personal care.
If students are not comfortable making an appointment for therapy, the CCS also offers a program called “Let’s talk,” either on Zoom or in person at the Efroymson Diversity Center in Atherton Union.
Casiana Warfield is a staff psychologist and one of the newly hired therapists. She is one of the staff who runs the Let’s Talk program, which is presented by CCS for two hours each week – Monday at 10 am and Wednesday at 1 pm.
Warfield is the only therapist to attend “Let’s Talk” in person. Other therapists organize Zoom Hours which can be found on the CCS website. Warfield said students can get a “one-off consultation” during these hours at Atherton Union, which may include learning about appointment scheduling and the nature of the therapy process.
The process of getting a treatment appointment begins with an initial one-hour assessment, according to Magnus. Counselors then meet and match the patient with a therapist who will best meet their needs, and finally the student can begin to receive care.
Walk-in sessions at “Let’s Talk” are not an official date, and anyone can attend, although depending on the CCS website, it is not recommended to use it in crisis situations.
“I want [students] knowing that if they go online and they don’t see a date that fits their schedule, call us… we’ll work with their schedule, ”said Magnus. “Or if there is a sense of urgency, then we absolutely want to hear it and bring them in.”
Evan Yoder, junior in Communication Sciences and Disorders and double major in Spanish, and secretary of Be The Voice, a campus suicide prevention club, said it’s important to stand up for your health and needs.
“One of the things that I had to learn is just to be ready to talk about all your experiences and to be open and vulnerable because it is very important for your well-being and your progress towards improvement, ”Yoder said.
According to the CCS website70% of students said that the therapy directly or indirectly improved their academic functioning. While therapy has been shown to improve academic function, Warfield points out that it won’t always be comfortable for students to participate.
“It might sound unusual, and anything new is stressful, but I think it can still be worth it,” Warfield said. “But I think it’s important to know and recognize that it’s not like the sun and the rainbows to do.”
If students are struggling with mental health, Yoder, Magnus, and Warfield encourage them to seek help.
“The people who are there to help you are very unbiased, and they are there to just listen to you and help you through whatever you need,” Yoder said.
Students can visit the CCS website or call 317-940-9385 to make an appointment. CCS also offers other resources for students search for alternative options.