The Counseling, Health & Wellness Center at Queen College provides students with counseling services and addresses numerous issues from academic stress and depression to financial aid and academic appeals.
Beginning this semester the center will be offering new support groups for students, including men and women of color, immigrant students, and LGBTQIA.
Dr. Barbara Moore, director of the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center says similar support groups have been available for the past three years, however with the recent increase in student usage of these services, the department felt it necessary to increase the number of groups available.
“It used to be we never had a waiting list, but because there is less stigma about mental health, students realize counseling is not because of mental illness, but rather to discuss problems or conflicts they feel are difficult to resolve and don’t have anyone to talk to about it,” Moore said.
“With few exceptions, [such as the intent to hurt self or others and child abuse], everything said here, as well as attendance is confidential,” Moore continued. “Everybody that works here is a licensed professional or intern on a doctoral or master’s level, whose work is supervised by professional staff. We currently have a small waiting list for individual counseling that we are trying not to let grow any bigger. Student’s won’t have to wait a week or two to be seen, and if they are in crisis, will be seen within the hour.”
Zoe Chan, a senior English major, admits she originally did not know much about the counseling center, but is happy to hear it is becoming more popular with students.
“I’m glad Queens College is offering more programs for their students, considering the politically charged tension that’s been around lately,” Chan said. “Different people like minorities, immigrants, and LGBT students, to name a few, are given a chance to voice their opinions, stress, and air their grievances in environments where they feel comfortable.”
Dr. Moore explained some of the support service groups the center offers, including, depression, mood matters, communication groups for people who feel shy, and general student support groups.
Also available are skill building workshop series that help to improve studying techniques, time and stress management and dealing with procrastination.
“We are trying to address the needs of as many students as possible so they can access our services,” Moore said.
Stephanie Somoza, a senior English and secondary education major, believes it is crucial for these services to be available to students because of the low morale she feels current events have produced.
“I think it’s important that the counseling services at our school open up the door for all students to discuss topics they may feel difficult to bring to light during this political era.” Somoza said
The center, located in Frese Hall, is composed of five offices aimed to serve the various needs of the QC community. Their services are free and Moore encourages all students to utilize them, if needed.
“The [goal of this] office is to service students—students come first here, as we are a very student centered office,” Moore said. “Many students who have come to counseling in the past have reported feeling better, understanding themselves better, being able to communicate with others better, and feeling more comfortable here at Queens College.”