Mental Health Services are Available at Charleston's Colleges | College Student Guide 2011 | Charleston City Paper

Mental Health Services are Available at Charleston's Colleges 

Turn Sad Keanu Into a Happy Keanu

Keanu Reeves is a movie star worth millions and millions of dollars who also happens to be incredibly attractive. But even he gets sad sometimes, especially when he's eating a sandwich alone on a park bench. So there's no need to feel embarrassed if you're stressed out or homesick or experiencing another kind of issue. The counseling services available at Charleston's colleges are there to provide an unbiased ear that will listen to whatever problems you're facing. Quoting a friend, Director of Counseling Services at Charleston Southern University Rufus Wofford says that "Pursuing counseling doesn't mean you can't make it. It just means you're not in it alone."

College of Charleston
Counseling and Substance Abuse Services
175 Calhoun St.
(843) 953-5640

CofC provides therapeutic resources through their Counseling and Substance Abuse Services office. Limited psychiatric services are available, but the school does not accept referrals from family physicians. CofC also offers peer counseling in-person or by phone, and even through an online chat. There are also support groups for students working through substance abuse, eating disorders, stress, grief, and more, and the ULifeline website (ulifeline.org) gives students an anonymous way to find help. A mental health screening is available online.

The Citadel
Citadel Counseling Center.
203 Richardson Ave.
(843) 953-6799

Being a freshman is tough. Being a freshman at a world-famous military college is tougher in a whole different way. The Citadel offers free basic psychotherapy and counseling services for a whole range of issues to its cadets, including an alcohol and substance abuse prevention program. The counseling center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and students can schedule a first-time intake appointment during that time. There are four psychologists on staff who provide 50-minute individual counseling sessions. Graduate students are also eligible for these services.

Art Institute of Charleston
Student Support Services.
24 N. Market St.
(800) 326-6142

"Starting college is a huge step in one's life. This is an exciting time, but can also be challenging," says Robert Seay, director of student affairs at the Art Institute. The Student Assistance Plan available at the school provides trained, licensed counselors to students in need. Up to four sessions of short-term face-to-face counseling are offered as well. The school also hosts special events and workshops, gives assistance with time and stress management and more, and has 24-hour confidential counseling available by phone. "The most important thing for students to remember is that it's okay to ask for help," Seay says.

Trident Technical Institute
Call (843) 574-6131 for main campus
and (843) 722-5516 for Palmer campus

This school's Counseling and Career Development Services office is located at the main campus in North Charleston. They can offer short-term counseling, as well as assistance in stress management, conflict resolution, crisis management, and more, whether individually or in a group setting. Their website also has an extensive listing of online resources for veterans. Trident Tech even provides students with webcam access to reach counselors at different campuses. It's the therapy of the future.

Charleston Southern University
9200 University Blvd.
(843) 863-8010

Rufus Wofford says CSU's counseling center is a place where students can take off their armor and get patched up. It employs two full-time counselors, plus two grad students, a part-time psychologist, and it can reach out to the school's departments and ministries for extra help. Wofford estimates that the bulk of their clientele are freshman who are struggling with anxiety and depression or other issues that have begun to present themselves now that the students are in a new environment. He says freshmen typically come in six-10 weeks into the first semester of the year. "That's enough time for people to have hooked up with each other and then broken up and gotten their first college heartbreak, and they're reeling from some of that, and meanwhile their classes are ongoing." And not surprisingly, since it's a Christian school, religion can work its way into the counseling, though it depends on the client. Some students may ask specifically for their faith to be part of their therapy, and then the staff will incorporate theology and psychology, finding encouraging verses from the Bible that work with the student's situation.

College Student Guide 2011

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