One of the defining features of the traditional college experience is the first real sense of independence many students are exposed to, however the pressures of life can often times be overwhelming. Higher rates of mental health issues, depression and increased stress levels have risen recently in college students throughout the country. According to national surveys conducted by the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) in 2015, 42.4 percent of the almost 75,000 undergraduate students who participated in the surveys reported experiencing greater that average stress in the past 12 months, and 10.3 percent reported feeling tremendous stress. Additionally, 35.3 person of survey respondents reported feeling depressed to the point that it was difficult to function, while 57.4 percent admitted to feeling overwhelming anxiety.
While many students may be struggling with these issues, help is not a far reach away. The Division of Student Affairs’ Student Counseling Service (SCS) offers numerous programs, personal counseling opportunities, and workshops to aid students in helping them understand and handle the mental struggles they are dealing with.
Director of SCS, Dr. Maggie Gartner said, “We are committed to helping students succeed academically, whether that is through personal counseling, stress management training or providing support groups, SCS wants our Texas A&M Aggies to be successful individuals.”
Professional, diverse staff create unique services that provide a welcoming, respectful and competent environment to help support students of diverse racial and national backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, differing physical and mental abilities, languages, and religious beliefs.
Dr. Gartner explains, “SCS needs to reflect our beautifully diverse student body and that includes hiring and training our staff so they can offer the best resources, tools, and support to better serve Aggies.”
SCS not only provides exceptional staff, but also trains current students as volunteers for the HelpLine program. The HelpLine provides information, support, referrals, and crisis assessment by phone for Texas A&M students and those concerned about Texas A&M students. Through the passion of the professional staff and the dedication of the student volunteers SCS is a resource available to all students.
“We offer a little of everything from counseling to outreach and substance abuse treatment to mentoring. Students do not realize they are more resilient than they think, you can succeed even after failure and actually come back stronger with the right tools,” Dr. Gartner said.
Students are likely to have many adjustments and experiences while at college, most will be positive however some may be more difficult. These difficult experiences do not need to done alone or without support. The Student Counseling Service is an excellent resource and guide. To learn more about the services offered please visit scs.tamu.edu
Written by: Courtney Rhodes