March 8, 2018
Keep Calm and Fight On: Mental Health and Emotional Wellness Resources
We all get stressed out from time to time, but as students take on increasingly rigorous coursework and time-consuming activities, mental health and emotional wellness is definitely something schools need to address. Increasingly, the national conversation around higher education has included these issues, as well as the kinds of support colleges are able to provide their students. Whether our Trojans are dealing with homesickness, a bit of test anxiety, or more serious difficulties like depression and trauma, USC offers an array of counseling services and trainings to help our students.
Asking for help can be difficult, but thankfully there are several avenues students can take to connect with mental health professionals at USC. The Engemann Student Health Center offers a “virtual clinic” where students can take a confidential assessment to see whether they would benefit from meeting with a counselor. This questionnaire addresses mental health issues ranging from anxiety to bipolar disorder to substance abuse, then connects students with the appropriate resources. USC also has a program called Trojans Care for Trojans. This anonymous process allows students to seek help on behalf of a friend, roommate, or anyone about whom they might be concerned.
A Light in the Dark
Unfortunately, students sometimes experience significant difficulties while in college. If a students find themselves in the middle of a crisis–if they are having suicidal ideations, have experienced trauma or loss, etc.–they are encouraged to call our crisis counselors. They are available 24/7 and can help students navigate these crises in the moment and connect them to resources they will need moving forward.
The Engemann Center employs wonderful counselors who are able to work with students through solution-focused therapy. This model of therapy usually lasts a few weeks to a couple of months and helps many students. For those who are seeking long-term therapy, the center will refer them to therapist in the area and check in regularly to ensure that the student is satisfied with the referral (if not, they will work with the student to find them a new therapist). USC can also refer students seeking psychiatric services to psychiatrists in the vicinity, though Engemann also employs psychiatric consultants on site.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Just like proper nutrition and exercise can prevent many physical ailments, practices focused on mental and emotional wellness can be used regularly to keep common stressors from building up. The Office of Health and Wellness Promotion offers workshops and classes to help students develop healthy skills and habits for self care. Mindful USC offers a variety of Mindfulness trainings, as well as a weekly practice group. USC has trained more people in Mindfulness practices than any other institution (and they have a really cool app so you can practice on the go)! Furthermore, many students have found comfort by meeting with Professor Beauregard Tirebiter…otherwise known as Beau the Wellness Dog! Finally, it’s sometimes easier to get by with a little help from your friends. Our health center offers a variety of therapeutic workshops and group counseling sessions so students dealing with similar issues can come together to learn coping skills, find empowerment, and discuss their experiences. Weekly programs include Taking Control of Anxiety, International Tea Time Weekly, Living with Loss, etc.
College is a time of incredible intellectual, personal, and social growth, which can be uncomfortable and even overwhelming at times. USC is dedicated to helping its students maintain mental health and emotional wellness so that they can thrive throughout college and beyond.
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