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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Best advice for college students: get the help you need

When I was in college, I went atop the campus watchtower and contemplated suicide when I found out my boyfriend had been cheating on me. Looking backward, I remember thinking to myself, "Hey, that is really going to hurt," and climbed down.  I was lucky. My temporary death wish, however, did not include picking up a semi-automatic weapon and aiming it at the innocent.

My son, a recent college graduate, dated a girl that cut herself. How did I handle it? I wrote her name on a piece of paper and put it in my bible.  Fortunately, he didn't get the girl pregnant, and they broke up. I often wonder about that girl and if she ever got the help she needed.

So many students are in pain and want to kill themselves and others.  Many cannot cope with relationships and stress from having to make passing grades.

Students must step up and seek help on campus.
Mary Morris-Billings, a licensed professional counselor, says students should take advantage of help when they need it.

"I encourage all young people attending college or university to be aware of all available resources on campus, especially counseling resources," said Morris-Billlings, M.S. and  former director of Counseling & Development at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. "Counseling centers are an important part of the university, university life, and the university experience.

"Whether you’re homesick, dealing with relationship issues, experiencing test and/or social anxiety or something even more challenging; the university counseling center is a great resource to assist students in addressing and resolving problems," Morris-Billings continued. "Counseling can make a positive difference in your life as well as your college experience. 

"Don’t pass up the opportunity to utilize counseling services.  You’ll be glad that you stepped up and secured the assistance you desired and needed.  Try counseling.  It helps."

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