Your campus, Your story
Story by Dan Corcoran
Melissa Hutchinson has seen an increase of students seeking assistance for dealing with mental health concerns.
“The demand for counseling services continues to rise,” the interim director of CMU’s Counseling Center said. “We are on track to provide more services to students this year than last year.”
According to data from the National Alliance for Mental Health, one in five adults has experienced a mental illness in the past year. This coupled with the statistic that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 34, showing that having a mental health crisis is not abnormal for people in the age range of traditional college students.
There are many resources available for students that need mental health services at CMU’s Counseling Center. The counseling center is staffed by several mental health professionals including social workers, a substance abuse counselor, a specialized sexual aggression counselor and a student-athlete specialist.
“The number one concern that students are seeking counseling for is anxiety, but there are three that are typically at the top of the list: anxiety, depression and relationship concerns,” Hutchinson said.
The Center now offers “Walk-In Wednesdays” where no appointment is needed. The service is available from 1-4 p.m. According to Hutchinson, these are not crisis appointments but appointments where students can get fast access to a counselor or for students that just want to check out the service.
Another service that the Counseling Center offers is PFA, or Psychological First Aid, which according to the Counseling Center’s website “can be helpful in responding to emergencies, crises and disasters that affect individuals, groups and communities during and in the aftermath of a situation.”
PFA does not necessarily have to be administered by a mental health professional and trained faculty can give it to victims of a traumatic event.
A new service the Counseling Center offers is TAO, or Therapy Assistance Online. This is a service that is available to faculty, staff, students and alumni that provides interactive programs by using a free online account.
Listening Ear Crisis Center, Inc. acts as the after-hours crisis line for the Counseling Center and has many programs to assist at-risk individuals throughout the area.
The Crisis Line is the line for Community Mental Health of Central Michigan which serves six area counties. It also serves the Macomb Care Network which is the Community Mental Health in Macomb County, 211 Northeast Michigan, which serves 22-23 area counties and as the crisis line for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Listening Ear receives around 40,000 calls annually and is in its 50thyear of serving the Mt. Pleasant community.
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