Counseling Services provides wealth of services for Tech students
Mental health is an ongoing struggle for today’s college students. However, most students are afraid to talk about it.
“Mental health is still highly stigmatized,” said Dr. Ashley Owen, Director of the Louisiana Tech Counseling Center. “If someone were to speak about their mental health, that person could fear negative consequences.”
There are those who feel their mental problems are a burden to others, Owen said, and they don’t want to address their issues with loved ones. There are also circumstances where someone might not have the resources to get help. This could be that their insurance doesn’t cover the cost, or their copay for insurance is high.
But that’s not the case on the campus at Louisiana Tech University. Services are provided at no additional charge to students.
In Fall 2021, Counseling Services served more students than they did throughout the whole of 2016. As the student body grows, Owen said, the need for mental health resources also increases.
Owen said a student’s living situation also plays a huge role in how they are feeling on a day-to-day basis as well. From their course load to the friends they choose to hang out with, everything plays a role.
As we are approaching the holiday season, stress and extra tasks are added to the equation.
“The holidays can promote an unhealthy mindset in many individuals if allowed to do so,” Owen said. “I do think that [an unhealthy mindset] is common, and I would encourage anyone to look at the joy the holidays can bring rather than the hustle and bustle that is often at the forefront.”
For family and friends to help their loved ones, the most important thing for them to do is communicate. Owen said it’s important to communicate directly with those who we could be struggling with depression and anxiety instead of contacting them virtually.
“I think mental health is spoken about more often on our campus than it ever has,” Owen said. “I’m very proud of the leaps and bounds that not just counseling services, but our student body, faculty and staff, and our administration, have taken to progress in our conversations about mental health. This extends to leading individuals to counseling services.”
Counseling Services provides sound therapeutic services to all currently enrolled students.
“If presenting concerns are plaguing a student or continue to come up, come to Counseling Services,” Owen said. “There is very little risk and lots of rewards. Counseling could be a good fit for you.”
The Office also provides around-the-clock crisis services in partnership with the Louisiana Tech Police Department. Each quarter, students also have group therapy options and training for QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) which is designed to teach on how to deal with addressing suicidality.
Counseling Services is located in Keeny Hall 310, and their number is 318.257.2488.
This story was written by Communication major Leslee Bennett.