LAUREN WISDOM, GUEST WRITER
College students have shown a steady increase in mental health issues in recent years, reported on apa.org. In a 2014 National Survey of College Counseling Centers, respondents reported that 52% of clients had severe psychological problems which is an increase from 44% shown in 2013, according to apa.org.
“There are environmental factors, there are biological factors, there are situational factors regarding mental health,” Molly Wertz, a mental health counselor in Pathways Center at Wartburg College, said. “Different life experiences can trigger an intense stress response which can tip someone over to experiencing a depressive episode.”
Wartburg College offers mental health resources to aid students, including counseling services that provide short-term professional help and self-help resources to its students. Stephanie Newsom, director of counseling services, and Wertz are both available for counseling.
“There are environmental factors, there are biological factors, ther are situational factors regarding mental health.” – Molly Wertz, mental health counselor in Pathways Center
The offices of Newsom and Wertz are located in the Pathways Center on the third floor of Vogel Library. Pastors are also available for counseling where their offices are located in the chapel. There is no cost to students for on-campus counseling provided by staff.
The goal of counseling services at Wartburg is to provide “psychological support as students pursue their academic and personal goals,” according to info.wartburg.edu/pathways/counseling-services.
“I think the most important thing is to normalize mental health issues,”
Jennifer Greve, a third-year music therapy and music education double-major, said. “It is best to know that you are not going through it alone.” In addition, Wartburg allows students to register emotional support animals (ESA), according to info.wartburg.edu. If a student meets the guidelines to acquire an ESA, Wartburg College has several rights as listed on the website once the animal is on campus.
There are also studentrun mental health organizations that Emily Smillie, a fourth-year neuroscience and psychology doublemajor, recommends on campus. The organizations include Suicide Awareness for Everyone, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Psychology Club and Wartburg’s BRAiNS.
“I think [your thoughts] build up really quickly,” Smillie said. “It is important to talk to someone because as long as they know how you are feeling, you always have someone there to check on you and make sure you are doing what you need to be doing.”
For more information, go to the Pathways Center on the third floor of Vogel Library, or go to wartburg. edu/pathways.
At personal counseling sessions, off-campus resources may be recommended, according to info.wartburg.edu/pathways/counseling-services