Mental Health Awareness for Graduate Students:
In recent years, there has been an observed and well-documented prevalence of mental health issues among graduate students, ranging from anxiety to depression and suicidal tendencies. Graduate students come under an incredible amount of stress, whether it be from their workload, their course load, their reservations about the future, or, most likely, the crushing combination of the three. Often students can feel isolated or like they are falling behind their classmates, when in truth, a huge portion of their peers are experiencing the same insecurities. There’s no reason to shy away from addressing these issues or from seeking support from free, on-campus resources.
The Counseling Center on campus provides professional therapy services free of charge for any student or employee. The Center is bound by the legal limits of confidentiality dictated by the state of Mississippi, so privacy is never a concern for anyone seeking assistance.
Per the Counseling Center’s website, they act in accordance with “the direction of the codes of ethics of the American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, and National Association of Social Workers. No record of counseling is contained in any academic, educational, or personnel file. No information written or oral will be released to other persons without the client’s written permission. By law limitations of confidentiality include when there is risk of imminent harm to the student or others.”
Services offered include personal counseling and therapy, group counseling and therapy, and 24-hour crisis intervention for emergency assistance. They can also provide referrals to other doctors and services. The Counseling Center is housed in Room 320 of Lester Hall, and office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Appointments are recommended, but in the case of an emergency, it is possible to walk in without an appointment and ask to see the counselor that is on call.
Mental health issues are proven to crop up in college and graduate school, even if a student has never had a history of them before. Given that there is no risk to a student’s privacy, trust, or finances associated with taking advantage of the Counseling Center, there is no reason to allow any emotional or mental discomfort to go untreated. Students should be aware that they are not the only ones in their particular situations by a long shot, and they are encouraged to seek solidarity and understanding with a counselor or peer group. Pursuing higher education should never be the cause of extreme distress or a deterioration in health.