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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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We Are… Here for You Day Promotes 24/7 Counseling Services

Students+received+hygiene+products+and+non-perishable+food+items+at+the+event.
Jada Mills
Students received hygiene products and non-perishable food items at the event.

A hot lunch, hygiene products, a bag filled with non-perishable food items and several counseling resources were available for Marshall students at no charge during the fifth annual We Are… Here for You Day.

“I think it’s important for the counseling center to actually be seen by the students, so we use this event as a way to make sure students know there are counseling resources available to them 24 hours a day,” said Michelle Sigler, a mental health specialist for the counseling center.

The event was held outside the Memorial Student Center on Thursday, Sept 21. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This is a big university; the freshmen, especially, could get lost in the shuffle, so we really want to make sure they know there are people here for them through the transition into college,” Sigler said.

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The counseling center has been receiving donations for this event for at least a month from different businesses throughout the Huntington area.

“We don’t want to burden students with anything else. We want this event to be for them, so we’ve asked local businesses to donate canned foods, hygiene items, detergent and non-perishable snacks,” Sigler said.

The main goals of the event were to introduce the counseling center to students who do not know about it and to provide students with free basic necessities. 

“It is a good way for students to learn about the resources available for them. Sometimes students just need a smile and a free snack,” said Candace Layne, the director of the counseling center.

The counseling center has recently partnered with Metra Health, which allows students to get virtual therapy no matter what state they live in.     

The platform can be accessed 24/7 and is free for students. The care is also available throughout breaks and the summer months.

Events like these are very beneficial for students. “Some students struggle with food insecurity and some do not have family support at home,” Layne said. “We know first-hand that there are students out here that need food, detergent, and hygiene products, they also may just need a smile or friendly face.”

Emphasizing the importance of mental health, Layne said, “If you are not functioning well mentally then you aren’t going to function well academically: that is why we tell students to prioritize their mental health and get help when they need it.” 

The counseling center is located on the first floor of Prichard Hall. Students can get connected to the counseling center in several ways, including through their website, by email, and walk-in appointments.

Goodwill Family Services, Prevent Suicide West Virginia, the Wellness Center, Facing Hunger Food Bank and Huntington Comprehensive Treatment Center were tabling alongside the counseling center to offer students with information.

“The Huntington Comprehensive Treatment Center is right down the road from Marshall. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, then come to the center. Refer a friend or give them a ride to the clinic,” said Myria Warner, the clinical supervisor of the peer support program. “It is okay to not be okay; please reach out and get the help you need.”

The Facing Hunger Foodbank also provided students with resources. They are one of two food banks in West Virginia and have a service area of 17 counties: one in Kentucky, one in Ohio and the others in West Virginia.

“Appalachia, in general, is a food insecure area, and we service some of the most insecure areas in the country,” said Tyler Fuller, the director of network and member relations for the food bank. “It’s nice to be able to be here and talk to students so they know there are resources available for them, both locally and within the area where they are from.”

Rachel Culbertson was alongside Fuller providing students with information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

“There is a lot of misconceptions around students and SNAP benefits, so Rachel is here to help students know what their options are and proceed with that process,” Fuller said.

If students are interested in more information about SNAP assistance, they can contact Rachel Culbertson via her email [email protected] or Tyler Fuller via his email [email protected]

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