By: Sarah Komanapalli | Editor-in-chief

Students can find themselves encumbered with numerous obligations both professional and personal. Some may find themselves overwhelmed and experience symptoms of anxiety or even depression.

College is a stressful, but critical time to monitor mental health. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness states that 75 percent of mental health conditions start before an individual is 24 years old. In 2016, the UCLA Higher Education Research Survey found that 12 percent of freshman were often depressed and more than one-third described feeling anxious frequently.

It’s not surprising then, that counseling centers have become increasingly important on campuses. An investigation in 2017 by the national publication STAT found that many colleges were having difficulties keeping up with the demand for counseling services. According to STAT, “at Northwestern University, it can take up to three weeks to get a counseling appointment” and “at the University of Washington in Seattle, delays in getting care are so routine, the wait time is posted online.”

Purdue students should be aware that feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression are common and that there are multiple ways to get help. These include Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Purdue University Student Health (PUSH), and the Purdue Student Health and Crisis Line. Another resource is Purdue University’s Counseling and Guidance Center (PCGC) which has been offering support for ‘educational, career, and personal’ problems since 1953. Their services are available to students, staff, and community members.

PCGC offers counseling in ‘multiple formats’. “What makes us unique is the fact that we do not have session limits, counseling is free,” explained PCGC. Students can expect to be seen once a week for counseling sessions that typically last 50 minutes. PCGC can help deal with many issues including loneliness, grief, relationship difficulties, and anxiety.

Counselors at PCGC are Counseling Psychology doctoral students in training and are supervised by faculty in the program. PCGC stated that students can “expect to see a counselor who is trained and committed” to explore their particular concerns. During sessions students may work with a counselor to find alternative, healthy ways to deal with problems.

PCGC cannot assist with an individual’s problems if they are at a “magnitude that prevents them from meeting daily responsibilities,” or see individuals with a “severe psychological disorder,” according to their website. However, PCGC will try to refer such individuals to “more appropriate agencies and programs” better able to meet their needs.

PCGC is among the many resources available on campus to help individuals take of their mental health during vulnerable periods.

The Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center is located in Beering Hall, Room 302. Their phone number is (765) 494-9738 and they can be emailed at pcgc@purdue.edu.

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