From dealing with short term psychiatric services to anxiety disorders to solving an issue with friends to simply having someone to talk to, GC’s Counseling Services provide an array of services to help students solve their problems.
“We provide individual counseling, couples counseling and group counseling to address a wide range of issues that include relationship difficulties, conflicts with roommates, but also difficulties with various forms of emotional distress,” said Dr. Stephen Wilson, director of GC’s counseling department. “We also offer short term psychiatric services.”
The demand for these services is increasing.
“The number of students that we’re seeing just continues to build throughout the semester,” Wilson said.
Appointments have increased by 36 percent since last year, and 57 percent of students who come to appointments are continuing appointments from the previous year.
This increase could be due to the fact that mental health and stress in general is talked about more openly.
“25 percent of college students could be diagnosed with a mental health condition,” Wilson said. “However, we only see about 10 percent of the GC student body. So there are a lot of folks who would benefit from the services that aren’t seeking them.”
One student who regularly attends on-campus counseling said that this gap could be due to a lack of outreach.
“They could do a better in reaching out to the student body,” said a sophomore English major.* “They could put themselves out there, try to promote more about mental health issues and reduce the stigma of counseling services.”
However, some students say that counseling services’ efforts to promote mental health awareness are effective.
Students in need of counseling services can either call or email the office. They do not need to be referred by someone else, and services are free for all students.
“I feel like [counseling] is getting more normalized,” said freshman Glynn Chasser, a pre-nursing major. “People think that a lot people go for a super serious issue, but it’s OK to go if you’re just having a bad week or having some anxiety.”
Walk-ins are welcome, but counselors will see students who are in immediate need of attention over students who are not. Counselors are on duty specifically for students in a crisis daily.
According to Wilson, the counseling department tries to facilitate a welcoming environment for students to
get the help they need.
Chasser said she had a positive initial impression when she first visited counseling services.
“Even if it’s not a big issue, even if you just need to talk to somebody, I recommend going,” Chasser said.
Counseling services has a 24-hour call service and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*The student preferred that their name be omitted.