“Every day waking up and say two or three things that you are grateful for, and every night before bed, one thing that happened today that you appreciated or thing that makes you smile,” talked Anthony Rivera, a Director of the Counseling Center at ONU.
Fall semester has started and will end early due to the pandemic. For students and faculty, this means having no breaks or days off such as labor day, fall break, or Thanksgiving break. In previous years, students would gather to celebrate passing an exam or surviving a tough week. However, they are not allowed to do those things this semester. Rivera gives students some ways to reduce stress and what the Counseling Center did and does to help students during the pandemic.
Exercising, talking to friends, listening to music, or doing something that you are interested in can be helpful in reducing stress. Joji Imatomi, a senior Accounting major, has done one of these. He said, “When I get stressed out, I play sports, especially tennis.” Rivera, however, introduces different perspectives on ways to relieve stress.
He talks about one of the important stress-relieving techniques that all members of the Counseling Center tell every student that they can use.
The Counseling Center gives students opportunities to teach other than reducing stress as events. It had Suicide Prevention Day in September and invited a guest speaker to talk about how to reduce stigma, and how important to talk to students about mental health. The Counseling Center also worked with Multicultural Center and held The Power of Connection event in the same month.
The next event that the Counseling Center will hopefully host is called “Outreach.” This event will contain three main programs that the Counseling Center really focuses on: suicide prevention, social connection, and resiliency. Basically, they will give students, organizations, and class presentations on those topics, if someone requested for presentations. Contact Rivera or Christine Cherry, an Advanced Administrative Assistant, for a request if you are interested.
For those unfamiliar with the Counseling Center, both counseling and therapy have continued virtually. The Counseling Center can better serve people who are off-campus or out of Ohio because of the new virtual sessions they are offering. By changing the system from the end of the last semester, Rivera says, “We have seen more students come to see us.” Since they have started teletherapy, it gives students more opportunities to meet with the counselors, especially if the student is in quarantine or self-isolation.
The counselors try to act the same as what they do in-person although they meet with students virtually.
The counselor talks to students once a week for about 45 minutes. If the student meets with the counselor for the first time, it takes longer since they need to fill out the form and paper. Also, the counselor will talk to help students understand the process of the therapy and process of the teletherapy.
If the student is a crisis, that student can come to the Counseling Center anytime between 8 am to 5 pm or the Case Manager will visit that student room if there is difficulty to visit the office even though they work virtually.
“No matter how big or small your issue, the Counseling Center is open for everyone,” said Rivera. If you feel something wrong, visit them. The office is open between 8 am to 5 pm.