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Wellness Center Off-Campus Counseling

Mental health has become an important topic of discussion at PLNU and many students reach out to the Wellness Center for counseling.

ASB gives attention to the topic of mental health and released a video saying mental health is a main focus for ASB. Results from a health assessment survey revealed many students at PLNU are fighting feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Forrest Case, ASB president, said in the video, “ASB is not fighting mental illness. We are fighting stigma.”

PLNU participated in mental health awareness week from October 713. The Wellness Center hosted a depression screening outside the cafeteria where students could take a short questionnaire and then speak to one of the counselors that work at the Wellness Center. Students could then make an appointment for counseling.

Though the Wellness Center hosted a depression screening, the PLNU website states the counselors are not be equipped to deal with severe mental illness. The concerns that may be addressed include mild to moderate anxiety and depression, adjustment concerns, interpersonal concerns, self-esteem, concerns related to college transition, academic performance concerns and identity development.

The website states, “Students whose needs are determined to be beyond the scope of the Counseling Services through assessment with a counselor and for whom short-term counseling would not be an effective form of treatment,” may be referred to an off-campus location.

The Wellness Center refused to give further information than what was provided on their website.

Kaylee Schattke, a junior biochemistry major, has been going to counseling since fall of her freshman year. Schattke said, “I was dealing with a lot of homesickness and I deal with depression. Being away from home and not having my mom and that stability I was used to really affected me, so it was nice to go out and talk about it.”

Timothy Hart, a junior psychology major, said he all used his free sessions freshman year and continued counseling through sophomore year. “I struggle with depression and anxiety. It helped me a ton, though it did have [a limit].” Hart explains, saying, “They could not help me with my situation and they misread my pain and made a judgment call that forced me into a situation where I had to live off-campus. I can say the decision wasn’t handled very well.”

An anonymous source went to the wellness center for a few sessions their freshman year at PLNU.

“I felt like it was a place I could go and just let all my feelings out, but not a place where I could receive helpful or structured therapy practice,” the source said. “I sought out external therapy because it wasn’t helpful.”

The source continued, saying, “I found my current therapist through my church, not from a Wellness Center referral. If you aren’t equipped to handle a situation with a client, then the professional thing to do would be to refer them to someone who is equipped, but they did not do that.”

 

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Emilyn Giddings

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