Psychological services at Weber State

Weber State University students have a wide range of support systems available to them via the Student Services Center. However, many students are unaware of these services and don’t get the help they need. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center is one of these unknown aids that students can take advantage of.

The Psychological Services Center’s mission, according to their website, is to “help individuals to identify barriers, improve coping and achieve personal goals.” They accomplish this through scheduled private therapy sessions, group therapy sessions and online supporting material.

Teaching stress management is one of the many services provided by the Counseling and Psychological Services Center  Photo credit: Bottled_void - Flickr user https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Teaching stress management is one of the many services provided by the Counseling and Psychological Services Center
(Source: Bottled_void – Flickr user) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Each WSU student gets 12 free counseling sessions per year and can attend as many group therapy sessions as they wish to.

According to Jamie Brass, a psychiatric doctor and counselor at the Psychological Services Center, many students don’t know what kind of symptoms they should have in order to come in. “If people are having difficulty with some aspect of their lives and they need help, that is an appropriate referral to us,” Brass said.

Another roadblock to students in need is the stigma associated with mental illness. According to a study published in February 2014 by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, stigma was the fourth leading cause for people not seeking psychological help.

Brass said she hopes to help students with their mental health concerns, but also wants to help them overcome the stigma of getting help.

“The stigma associated to mental health concerns . . . is something I would really like to help students get past and realize that the help that we can offer will really improve the quality of their life,” Brass said.

Fellow counselor Dianna K. Abel, Ph.D., director of the Psychological Services Center, echoed her coworker’s statement. “My hope is that today there is less of a stigma, but I think it takes everyone talking about it,” Abel said. “We’re ready to have real conversations about a real issue instead of just skirting it.”

The Psychological Services Center is also very mindful of student confidentiality.

According to study by King’s College, concerns about confidentiality were the number one reason people who needed mental health care did not seek treatment.

“We take confidentiality very seriously,” Brass said. “We don’t release student information without permission.”

There are only two ways a student’s information will be shared with someone, the first being an emergency and the second being if a student gives written consent to release their information.

Care is also a group effort according to Abel.  She offered some advice as to what students should do if a roommate or family member seems to be in trouble and needs help.

“First and foremost I’d listen to them . . . and I would listen to them non-judgmentally,” Abel said. “They may be experiencing something that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a big deal to them . . . I would let them know that there is help available and that you support the idea of them getting help . . . Let them know that you think it’s ok to get help. “

Students that wish to know more should visit the center’s website at weber.edu/counselingcenter. In addition to finding the information to schedule a session on their webpage you can also find group therapy schedules, self-diagnostic quizzes, smartphone apps for tracking symptoms and supplemental self-help reading. The center wants you to know it is there and that you can and should make use of its services.

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