Counseling and Health Centers Still Providing Real Help to Students, Albeit Virtually
Students may have been sent home early this semester but the Counseling and Health centers are still hard at work to ensure the health and wellness of the campus community.
The Counseling Center has adopted a consult and refer model in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. It’s the same method the center uses once summer hits—with some key differences.
“It’s not like summer where they might be home by themselves; everyone is together,” says Wendy Krisak, assistant dean of students for wellness. “The coping strategies might be a little different than they were.”
Counselors help students take a look back at the tools, coping mechanisms, and strategies they’ve used so far while introducing them to new techniques. They also assist students with any referral information they may need to find a provider in their home area. Krisak also encourages any students, especially seniors, who were clients of the Counseling Center to set up a final consult session as closure.
“Our students are resilient in a lot of ways and resourceful ... We’re going to do what we can within the limits that we have but we are there for them if they need us.”
“This is the hardest thing for us as counselors—to work with a student and to just have it drop off,” she says. “Normally, we can work our way up to that. We weren’t given that chance this time.”
Still, there are some silver linings to working from home. It allows Krisak and the staff of the Counseling and Health centers to take a closer look at current protocols and to update them to better serve students. They’re also getting a jump start on preparing for the fall semester and they’re focusing on continuing education. Krisak is currently being trained in Question, Persuade, Refer—a program that works to prevent suicide. She’s hoping to be able to conduct training sessions with faculty and staff members this fall.
Until next semester rolls around, students can visit the Tools & Support page on DeSales’ website for a comprehensive list of resources providing emotional support, medical resources, financial resources, support groups, and more. Students can also set up a remote consultation with a counselor on the COVID-19 Updates page under the “Will I have access to the Wellness Center” tab.
“Our students are resilient in a lot of ways and resourceful,” says Krisak. “It’s important for them to realize that we value the therapeutic relationship as much as they do. We’re going to do what we can within the limits that we have but we are there for them if they need us.”