Counseling services holds online sessions during campus closure

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Source: Utica College

Francesca Alfieri, Staff Writer

With the Utica College campus closed for the remainder of the semester, students requiring mental health counseling will still be able to take advantage of the services offered by the Counseling Center.  The way the sessions work is a little different, however.

Kristin Tanoury, interim director of the Counseling Center, said counseling sessions will now take place online.

Students who received counseling services in the past, who should have been notified by their councillors about the changing circumstances, can contact their counselor online, make appointments and reach out when needed. 

Counseling sessions are done over a confidential telephone line or video platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts, just like classes are being handled. 

“If students want more counseling services at home, their school counselors can help them find services around the area they are living in,” Tanoury siad. “If students are seeking counseling and have not been seen in the Counseling Center, we are strongly encouraging them to find a counseling service in the area they are now residing.” 

Because of the change to a virtual setting, this transition will not be smooth sailing. It is suggested that students keep in mind that telecounseling appointments may be limited. 

“We have directed students to call 315-792-3094 or visit the website if they are having difficulty connecting with a local provider. If a student is having a mental health emergency, they are directed to call 911 or may also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifelife 1-800-273-8255.”

  Although during this time students may feel anxious, Tanoury said she was encouraging students to stay calm. 

According to CNBC, here are some ways to cope with the pandemic and to manage stress and anxiety on a daily basis

  1. “Know you’re not alone.” Although this time may make us feel stressed and scared, it is important to know that we are not alone in this fight. There are numerous people out working tirelessly to put this pandemic to an end. Some things are not in our control and it is better to focus on the things we can control like our mental and physical health on a daily basis.
  1. “Manage your media diet.” There is a difference between checking up on the virus through news outlets and social media and constantly reading articles that may be a stretch of the truth. Try not to be overwhelmed by the news. Make sure you are reading reliable sources, especially before sharing them on social media. 
  1. “Stick to a routine.” Even though our usual schedules have been altered, making a new routine at home is essential to getting yourself back on track. Make sure you wake up with enough time to make your online classes. Try not to work from your bed but instead make a work area in your bedroom or another room in your house. Also try staying on task with assignments and make a calendar or to do list. 
  1. “Give mindfulness a try.” Focusing on the future may be hard, so try to focus on the present instead. Practicing meditation or mindfulness exercises helps in seeing some of the good parts coming from this pandemic. 


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