“People often think of using counseling services only when something traumatic has happened or when they are feeling so overwhelmed they don’t know what else to do,” said Dr. Carla Berkich, Executive Director of the University Counseling and Health Centers. “The Counseling Center does help students in these situations, but we offer much more. Students can use counseling proactively to build upon their strengths, assisting them to reach personal and professional goals, and to develop resilience skills which helps them better cope during periods of stress or difficult times.”
The Counseling Center offers an array of workshops, trainings, and individual counseling to help students excel academically, maintain healthy relationships, and reach other personal goals. Academic Success Counseling sessions are available to help students to improve study and test taking skills, learn assertive ways to communicate with professors, and utilize time management and goal setting skills.
To help students cope with the stress of finals, the Counseling Center is offering “Paws & Relax” from 3-5 p.m. on the following days: Thursday, May 7; Friday, May 8; Monday, May 11; and Tuesday, May 12. Students will be able to visit with Sailor, a toy poodle therapy dog, and sample a variety of stress-relieving activities including sidewalk chalk art, bubbles, hula hoops, coloring, puzzles and aromatherapy.
Berkich says the “Relaxation Room” offers a place where students can experiment with different ways to relax so they can develop their own personalized approach. Resources include audio relaxation guides, comfortable recliners, a massage chair, yoga mats, a library of self-help books and brochures, and biofeedback programs.
“We also have a number of coping and wellness resources and useful Smartphone Apps on our website,” she said. The Counseling Center website also offers a link to “Student Health 101,” a free online magazine that covers a variety of college health issues related to stress, nutrition, relationships, and general health.
The Counseling Center can help address a range of issues including anxiety, eating concerns, and difficulties with alcohol or other drugs. They can also provide support to students who have experienced sexual assault or interpersonal violence.
“We offer anonymous online screenings for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and PTSD,” she said. “Through the suicide prevention trainings we provide, we can show students how to recognize and help friends who are distressed or having thoughts of hurting themselves.”
For more information on these and other services, go to http://counseling.tamucc.edu/ or call (361) 825-2703. To schedule an initial appointment, students should come to the University Counseling Center, located in the Driftwood Building, during regular business hours. All services are confidential.
In the event of a crisis, students are encouraged to call or come to the Counseling Center. After hours, students can call (361) 825-2703 and press “2” to be connected to the emergency after-hours counselor. Staff and faculty who are concerned about a distressed student can consult with the Counseling Center staff by phone.