Counseling makes college life easier in many ways

By Corey Riner, Contributing Writer
 
The trials and difficulties that college students face on a daily basis, which can range anywhere from hardly noticeable to absolutely frightening, make up a long list of examples including:  financial troubles, relationship problems, and academic performance.

These issues, while discussed at length, have often been pushed aside and given the generic label of “manageable.”  
 
College students are often told that their problems do not matter, and that they should be grateful for the educational opportunities that have been handed to them.  
 
Opinions like these, however, are put into question when various studies throughout the past few years have asserted that college students are at risk for numerous mental health issues.
 
A 2013 National College Health Assessment, among a sample size of 125,000 students from across 150 colleges and universities in the United States, found that one-third of those students suffered from some form of depression and almost half of them felt overwhelming anxiety over the past year.  These problems were attributed to the students’ abilities to function both in and outside of the classroom.
 
With findings such as these, it’s not unrealistic to think that the various counseling options offered in universities all around the United States may have an impact on a student’s ability to cope with the many trials that accompany secondary education.  
 
A study from 2015 titled “The Effectiveness of University Counseling for Students With Academic Issues” involved a sample size of 129 university students who attended student counseling services to see if it had any effect at all on their ability to handle academic issues.  92 percent of the students reported having some sort of academic issues, and of those students, 40 percent reported a clinically significant change in their ability to manage different stressors.
 
As expected, West Liberty University offers counseling services to its students as well.  Attempting to maintain as much simplicity as possible for the benefit of the students, West Liberty has made counseling services available through WINS on its website.  After logging into WINS, all a student has to do is select “Student Services,” and then “Request a Counseling Session.”  
 
The student will be directed to a page where they can click on the “Submit” button, in which case the university counselor will contact them via email to set up an appointment that works around their schedule. 
 
 All students are welcomed and encouraged to use this free service offered by West Liberty and counseling is both free and confidential for WLU students.
 
The offices for Counseling Services are located on the second floor of the Student Union, with hours starting at 8 a.m and ending at 4 p.m, Monday through Friday.
 
In addition to scheduling an appointment on WINS, appointments can  also be scheduled by phone at 304-366-8215, by email [email protected], through the referral mailbox located next to the entrance to the services, or even by walk-ins, pending counselor availability.
 
If a counselor is not available or more immediate help is necessary, the “Counseling Services” section of the West Liberty website also has numerous phone numbers and links to various national hotlines and websites to fur­ther assist those who may  need them. Similar to the services offered on campus, these websites and hotlines are also free and anonymous.
 
With all of the work and trying to maintain a social life, college is sometimes stressful and difficult to navigate, but life is made a lot easier when using these types of services.
 
Photo Credit: Jalyn Bolyard