Editor’s note: During the summer, New College News will feature selected student blogs that focus on the New College experience.
By Kallie Delis
The Counseling and Wellness Center is an on-campus resource for physical, emotional and mental health.
One way students can get support is through single-session interventions. Students receive a full consultation to address their immediate mental health needs within one session. Students can also meet with a counselor regularly throughout the semester. These sessions are usually focused on a specific goal or issue that is determined at the start of the meetings, and they can progress through weekly meetings.
One-on-one counseling sessions are not the only options available to students. The center provides couples counseling for those who want to work on their relationship with their partner. Group psychotherapy sessions are a recent addition to the CWC’s resources. Counselors will offer three different group therapy sessions each semester, and they will rotate topics to suit students’ needs. Options will range from emotional regulation, to living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, to understanding oneself, and others.
If there is a need for a certain group space on campus, such as a thesis support, students can petition the CWC to start a group. Requesting group therapy topics is an option that not many students remember is available to them, but it is a wonderful chance to fill in gaps on campus.
While group therapy require a consistent commitment, drop-in workshops and support groups offer students more flexible options. Some of the current support groups are LGBTQIA+, Intersecting Identities, and Stress Management And Resilience Training (SMART). Counselors from the CWC facilitate all meetings.
Not every service has to be in person, though! There are plenty of online resources provided through the CWC’s website. They have Therapist Assisted Online, which is a self-help site. The CWC also features a list of downloadable apps for mental health, and staff members are hoping to add a bibliotherapy list of recommended books for mental health and self-help. Additionally, the website offers personal self-assessments of alcohol use, as well as an interactive screening program through which students can fill out a questionnaire and receive feedback from a counselor through the website.
The CWC also does a fair amount of on-campus outreach. The counselors lead trainings for resident advisors and Campus Police, and they host events throughout campus to promote health education. And while the staff works hard on preventative measures, they also handle crisis appointments, judicial assessments and walk-in appointments. There is a counselor on call who students can contact in an emergency situation. The center’s program director, Dr. Anne E. Fisher, is a member of both the Behavioral Intervention and Campus Crisis teams.
New College has a Student Support Team on campus to help those who may be struggling. Students, faculty and staff can submit a report to the team if they suspect someone is in trouble. Signs that something is wrong may include repeated absences from class, changes in mood, and missed work. These reports are a vital way that the CWC can help struggling students and keep them from falling through the cracks.
The CWC’s mission is to promote healthy minds and lifestyle habits. The center supports a holistic wellness, fitness, and recreational approach that it encourages all students to engage in, and the staff will do anything within their power to assist students in need of help.
— Kallie Delis is an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing.