Good health starts in your mind

Counseling Center supports mental health

Good health starts in your mind

By Markus Smith

In a day and age where health is all the rage from kale chips to CrossFit, it’s easy to forget that part of a healthy lifestyle includes taking care of our mental health as well. The University of Washington Bothell’s Counseling Center provides numerous services to meet the needs of students, parents, faculty, and staff. “Students have the ability to receive free individual, unlimited counseling,” says counseling center director Rosemary Simmons, Ph.D.

The University of Washington Bothell creates and supports student excellence in and out of the classroom by offering services to help promote flexibility and responsiveness to change. The counseling center is seeing an increase in those taking advantage of this invaluable benefit. The number of UW Bothell students seeking counseling in 2014-2015 increased 20 percent over the 2014-2015 academic year. During that same period, the staff provided a total of 1,292 counseling sessions, up 33 percent.

Simmons says that there is a significant stigma about receiving counseling services, “We have an idea of destigmatizing counseling because we can all benefit from that.” Simmons adds, “We also see students for test anxiety anytime, but especially during finals,” and they provide various ways to assist in relieving stressors. She says that each of us has a different way of interacting with other people and feeling about ourselves. Counselors in the center help resolve issues and identify constructive ways to cope.

Laura Pantoja, a senior, says she recommends the counseling services to her friends if they are ever stressed or going through hardships in their lives. “It was my first time living away from home and I felt like everything collapsed,” she says “I was really thinking of quitting but I didn’t want to disappoint anybody.”

Laura is currently a leader on campus working as a student project assistant for student engagement and activities. She is expecting to graduate with her bachelor of arts in business administration this spring. “It’s a really safe place and a lot of people don’t know because they don’t see it,” says Pantoja. “Because I had the counselors to guide me through, it really helped me to keep looking forward.”

For counseling center hours, services and resources please visit:

http://www.uwb.edu/studentaffairs/counseling