The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Counselors give therapy, advice to those in need

by Jamil Oakford/reporter

Students use the advisement centers on each TCC campus for various services, but students may overlook one service.

Along with academic advising, located within the same area, often a couple doors down, are the counseling services available to all students in need.

“Personal help is the difference between advisors and counselors,” NW counseling director Ricks Edmondson said.

Counselors are equipped with several in-house resources like faculty referrals, the CARE Team and the Blue Book to help deal with an array of personal problems.

“We’re here to help anytime personal difficulties or stress interferes with academic life,” Edmondson said.

Counselors’ in-house resources start with the staff being licensed therapists.

“Every counselor has a specialty,” NE counselor Masika Smith said. “We’re all trained for crisis counseling, but each of us has a certain field we can help out in.”

And with the crisis training and specialties, counselors can tackle not only personal problems in a student’s life but also help with career worries or academic problems, which means they work closely with the advisors as well.

“Sometimes if we see a student struggling, we’ll ask them if they want to see a counselor about it,” NE academic advisor Adam Baugh said.

But each counselor interviewed said students are often hesitant about asking for help.

“Some are reluctant to seek help because they think there’s a stigma attached to it,” Edmondson said. “Some students wait until things are really unwinding, until they can’t manage it on their own.”

Counseling tackles stress management, time management, depression and academic recovery as well.

NE and South campuses hold mental health workshops on a variety of topics during the semester. In the spring, several campuses also sponsored a suicide prevention day with workshops to raise awareness while South held a mental health fair.

“We brought our own information, but we also had outside agencies show up too,” said South counseling assistant director Michael DuPont.

Student veterans are also welcome to use the free and confidential counseling services, Smith said.

“We’re committed to their success,” she said.

Each counselor wants students to know one thing: It’s OK to come into the counseling and advising center.

“I strongly encourage them to come in and meet the counselors and start making connections,” DuPont said. “Be proactive. It’s OK to come and talk to us. It’s private and confidential.”

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