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KORENICH: Counseling center a valuable resource for students

Counseling+Center+director+Dr.+Michael+Zebrowski+said+the+weeks+leading+up+to+finals+is+a+vulnerable+time+of+the+semester+for+many+students.
Counseling Center director Dr. Michael Zebrowski said the weeks leading up to finals is a vulnerable time of the semester for many students.

Counseling Center director Dr. Michael Zebrowski said the weeks leading up to finals is a vulnerable time of the semester for many students.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Counseling Center director Dr. Michael Zebrowski said the weeks leading up to finals is a vulnerable time of the semester for many students.

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There is no question that mental health is an important topic, especially on college campuses. Being away from family and friends and being in a new environment can cause problems for students, and it is important to have good resources for coping. Marquette has been taking great strides in talking about mental health more with things like student media’s “Breaking the Silence” campaign. This week, I visited the Counseling Center to get some more information on what they offered.

The Counseling Center staff was extremely welcoming, and the plush couches and various coloring books provided a nice distraction while I waited. I came in unannounced, but they were very timely with directing me to someone who could tell me about the programs the center provides.

In the waiting room, there was a board full of different group counseling sessions hosted by the center, including topics such as grief and anxiety. The Counseling Center offers individual and group therapy for a variety of issues, and appointments can be made online or over the phone. They also offer career counseling to help “aid students with their personal career exploration.” The best part is the center is free for full-time students.

I have seen the Counseling Center tabling a few times, which I think is great for visibility. Their website is easy to use and navigate which can help to take away some of the stress of trying to figure out scheduling an appointment.

According to the Counseling Center, during the 2016-17 academic year it saw 1,172 unique clients. This is a great chunk of students that sought out the Counseling Center’s services, but there could be more. With Marquette’s total enrollment hovering around 11,000 in 2016, there is definitely room for more students to seek out the Counseling Center and their services.

It is important that students know about the counseling resources that Marquette provides. No one should have to feel alone or at a loss here. Sometimes we need more help than just venting to our friends. If mental health and the Counseling Center resources were discussed more on campus, that would help to take away some of the stigma that unfortunately goes along with mental health.

Counseling can be a really important resource, but often is under-utilized because people don’t know what it is. There is nothing too minor to address during counseling sessions, even if someone just wanted to talk about how their day was. Granted, these services aren’t for everyone, if they never try it, they’ll never know.

If starting off in a one-on-one session sounds intimidating, try out one of the group therapy options. That’s a great way to ease into counseling and the resources that the center supplies. During midterms and finals, the Counseling Center also brings in support animals to the Alumni Memorial Union for students to hang out with.

Overall, I feel that Marquette’s Counseling Center offers many services that could be extremely beneficial to students. It is our job as students to be aware of the resources that are provided for us on campus and to utilize them. Next time the Counseling Center is tabling somewhere, take a brochure to try and learn more. Grab a friend and head to a group session about stress when you have a big exam coming up, and that may lead to wanting to go more often. There doesn’t have to be some big horrible event in order to use counseling. Make the most of it for even simple everyday problems.

I recommend everyone stop by the Counseling Center even if it’s just to pet Cu, the friendly therapy dog.

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