Counseling Center offers alternative options for students

“We are…Marshall” is a phrase most students are familiar with. At the Counseling Center, their message is “We Are…Here for you.” Director Candace Layne said all students are encouraged, now more than ever, to reach out to the center if they need assistance.

“We encourage students, faculty and staff to reach out for assistance and services if needed,” Layne said. “With a lot of recent adjustments in our lives, it’s important to apply self-care and be mindful of our mental health, especially right now during a crisis.”

Marshall University’s Counseling Center will remain open while in-person classes are suspended and are offering appointments for students who are in need. Layne said there are multiple options for students who want to continue counseling. There are also options for students who want to begin counseling but have never been to the center before.

“Currently we are offering telemental health/distance counseling, case-management and phone/e-mails correspondence and consults,” Layne said. “Psychiatric appointments will continue through telehealth.”

With campus being closed students, classes moved to online delivery and many aspects of daily life changed, Layne said she understands the added pressure and stress students are dealing with right now.

“With the stress of COVID-19, the constant news coverage of it and a lot of changes and transitions lately with academic courses and social engagement, it is likely the majority of our student body is quite stressed and overwhelmed,” she said.

Layne said one of the best coping strategies for students could be to reach out to supportive friends and family.

“I encourage everyone to express stress, anxieties and challenges at this time,” she said. “Reaching out to support systems at this time is very important. Family, friends, community members, clergy, reach out.”

During uncertain times, Layne said everyone needs to be mindful of their mental health and the Counseling Center offers resources to assist with this.

“Allow yourself to feel because let’s face it… it’s a stressful time for our entire nation and world for that matter,” Layne said. “Discuss thoughts, feelings, concerns and fears with others. Reach out to the counseling center for assistance and one of our Mental Health Specialists can assist at this time.”

To schedule an appointment or for more information about services, students can call the Counseling Center or email [email protected].

Layne said she advices if one is experiencing thoughts of suicide, intent and/or self-harm, reaching out to 911, MUPD, or going to the local emergency room is most important. The suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Kyra Biscarner can be contacted at [email protected].