Kerelo: Starting the school year strong, confident and ready for anything

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Coming into the new school year, Rowan University has introduced and emphasized student support groups to help those experiencing stress, mental health disorders and other struggles. Each year, students report suffering from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Despite the prevalence of these issues, many students do not know where they can go to cope, sadly adding to the number of suicides or suicide attempts within the Rowan community.

The transition into university life for new Rowan students, whether they’re transfers or incoming freshmen, can be challenging. With school work, making new friends and being in an entirely different environment, many factor’s may weigh on the psyche of a new Prof. However, there are ways of coping within the Rowan community to help with stress and mental health disorders. 

The Stress and Anxiety Student Support Group is a peer-led, non-clinical group that allows students to talk with each other about college stress and anxiety, along with discover ways of coping. The group meets every Monday at 2:00 p.m. in the Wellness Center, no appointment needed. 

Allison Pearce, assistant director of Healthy Campus Initiatives at Rowan University, works with the Stress and Anxiety Student Support Group.

“It’s a peer-led discussion group about dealing with stress in college when it’s at a more manageable level before it gets out of control,” Pearce said. “It’s not a therapy or counseling group, though the Wellness Center offers these as well. It’s a place for students to talk to other students about college life.” 

Rowan’s Counseling and Psychological Services has implemented crisis on-call mental health services that run 24 hours, 7 days a week as an emergency mental health crisis service within the Wellness Center. Students can call 856-256-4911 and ask to speak with the counselor on-call.

David Rubenstein, vice president for health and wellness and the director of Counseling and Psychological Services, has worked with the Counseling Center on bringing in new ways to help students cope with mental illness.

“We have offered crisis on-call services as long as the Counseling Center has been in operation,” Rubenstein said. “This on-call service includes addressing immediate emergent needs when students enter our building, as well as providing an overnight on-call counselor when the office is closed.” 

Rubenstein also expanded on what Counseling and Psychological Services are doing this semester for Rowan Students.

“We offer an initial consultation for students requesting services, and the clinician the student meets with will make a referral to services based on their needs,” Rubenstein said. “The referral may include time-limited individual therapy, group therapy (we offer 24 therapy groups and workshops this semester), brief solution-focused therapy by counselors in our Let’s Talk program in four different academic and service buildings across campus during the week, psychiatric evaluations and medication management for students who receive therapy from our counselors, crisis services during business hours and overnight, stress management support groups in our Healthy Campus Initiatives office in the Wellness Center, substance abuse screenings, evaluations, counseling, groups and education classes.”

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an international nonprofit membership organization, is dedicated to researching, educating and training to help people with anxiety, depression and related disorder across the nation. The ADAA showed that 30 percent of college students have reported that stress negatively impacted their academics, while 41.6 percent said that anxiety was the top concern. 

The ADAA summarizes the mental health plight for anxious young adults as follows: “Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by the age of 22.” 

In addition to the services listed above, Rowan offers a support group that meets weekly, called Chill n Chat.

“[Chill n Chat] is a group for students to meet each other and hang out in a low-key environment,” Pearce said. “This group meets on Fridays at 11a in the Wellness Center.”

Rowan offers semester long workshops that are focused on controlling and managing stress and mental health. Check out ProfLink to find more information on support groups and counseling services.  

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