Counseling — a benefit students may not know they have

Sep 11, 2018

College students often feel overwhelmed, anxious and unsure who to turn to about stressors in their life. Student Support Services is here to help, offering free tutoring and counseling to Newman University students.

Students have access to free tutoring and six free counseling sessions each academic year.

Debbie Haslam, coordinator of early intervention and testing services, urges students to use the services provided through her office. “It’s truly a support system,” she said, and any student can benefit from it.

Nearly 100 students took advantage of free counseling services last year alone.

Debbie Haslam, coordinator of early intervention and testing services

“College is hard in and of itself and it’s a challenge to balance everything as far as classes go, but that’s not all that our students are,” said Haslam. “They have their own families, their own personal issues they’re dealing with outside of class and sometimes that can become overwhelming. So why not take advantage of the opportunity to talk to someone who is a professional who can help them work through some of that?”

To set up a counseling session, students first see Haslam who visits with them about their needs and provides them with the necessary forms and directions to set up an appointment with contracted counselor Stacey Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a licensed social worker and counselor at the Mental Health Association of Kansas, sees nearly all of the students who seek services at Newman. She has an office on campus where she meets with students each Thursday.

An anonymous referral program is also available for students, staff or faculty who are concerned about a particular student. The program, called Project Care, allows Haslam to reach out to students who may not be comfortable reaching out first.

“It’s difficult to make that step to ask for (a counseling session) and difficult to make that appointment and actually go,” said Haslam.

Students oftentimes turn away from counseling due to the stigma that something’s wrong with them if they need counseling. Haslam said, “It doesn’t mean anything negative about you to do it, it’s just getting some extra support.”

Haslam’s goal is to provide students with the resources they need to be successful whether it be counseling, the tutoring center, career services, or even something outside of Newman.

Student Support Services is located in Sacred Heart Hall 302 and is open on school days 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. To set up a counseling session, visit the website or contact Haslam at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2319 or [email protected].

For tutoring services, visit the Academic Resource Center webpage or the campus location in Sacred Heart Hall, room 305. For further information, contact Case Bell at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2235 or [email protected].